E.W. Scripps Co. posts Q4 loss of $21.5M

Posted at 1:23 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 13:23:02-05

CINCINNATI – The E.W. Scripps Company reported a fourth quarter loss of $21.5 million Friday.

Scripps, which is based in Cincinnati and is the parent of WCPO, attributed the loss to a $45.7 million non-cash pension settlement charge and costs related to last year’s transaction and acquisition with Journal Communications.

The company saw $205 million in revenues from continuing operations. That was up by $54 million from last year, thanks largely to $71 million in revenue from acquired operations.

Scripps President and CEO Rich Boehne said the company was anticipating the highest revenue year in the television division’s history during 2016, thanks in part to political advertising.

“We are positioning our stations to make the most of anticipated record broadcast television election spending,” Boehne said. “That includes making strategic investments to maintain and grow strong ratings, especially in the markets where we expect the greatest presidential election spending.”

Highlights from the quarter included a retransmission agreement with Time Warner Cable that will increase Scripps’ retransmission revenues by 50 percent over 2015.

The company also signed 10 distribution deals for video news service Newsy during the quarter.

“All of these new partners join Apple TV and Comcast’s Watchable, both of which went live with Newsy during the fourth quarter, in providing the company with an even stronger foothold in the high-value video advertising marketplace,” Boehne said.

Also during the quarter, Scripps signed a network affiliation agreement for five NBC-affiliated stations and sold the Boise, Idaho station KNIN for $14.5 million as part of the Journal merger.

Television provided the most revenue during the quarter, $171 million, down $29 million from the previous quarter. Radio revenue was down from $21.3 million to $19 million. Digital revenue rose $4.4 million from the previous quarter to $13.2 million.