CINCINNATI — The E.W. Scripps Co. posted a $6.8 million loss on revenue of $292 million in the first quarter, which ended March 31.
The revenue results were better than Wall Street analysts were expecting, while the loss of 8 cents per share was 2 cents worse than expectations. Scripps shares declined more than 13 percent to $20.06 in Friday morning trades.
Scripps, which owns WCPO, has been in acquisition mode for most of the last year. In May, it completed the purchase of 15 television stations from Cordillera Communications. In March, it announced the purchase of eight stations from Nexstar Media. Scripps also purchased Triton, a Los Angeles company that measures podcast audiences, last November.
Past acquisitions delivered a $16 million boost to Scripps’ first quarter revenue, which increased 14.9 percent from a year ago. The company also enjoyed better than expected growth in retransmission revenue, or payments from cable companies that carry Scripps content.
“With the close of the Nexstar transaction, Scripps will grow its national television station footprint to 60 stations in powerful markets such as New York City, Phoenix, Detroit, Tampa, Miami, Denver and Nashville,” Scripps CEO Adam Symson said in a press release Friday. “We now expect to enter 2020 with an even further strengthened political advertising footprint, including now reaching more than two-thirds of Florida households as well as entering Virginia and Texas. These moves also rebalance our portfolio toward more No.1 and No.2-ranked stations as well as markets where we’ll operate second stations.”