E.W. Scripps TV Stations on Track for 4Q Surge
NEW YORK: The 10 TV stations belonging to E.W. Scripps are
on the way to a very healthy fourth quarter compared to last year. Ad revenues are
expected to rise between 35 and 40 percent at the stations on the power of political
spending, par the industry. Even without political, 4Q10 is tracking higher than
last year, Scripps execs said at the UBS Global Media Communications Conference
this week in New York.
“November was stronger than December is pacing, but the company expects local and
national advertising at the stations to be up in the low-double-digit range for
the two-month period,” the Cincinnati media company said.
The prognostication was in line with guidance Scripps provided Nov. 2. Looking ahead,
the company said the economy was still a bit wonky to provide a full-year prediction,
so it instead offered guidance for the first six months of 2011.
“Despite tougher comparisons due to the rebound in local television advertising
that started in December 2009, Scripps believes year-over-year television ad revenues
will increase in the low- to mid-single-digit range, excluding political advertising,”
the company said.
Key advertising categories at the TV stations are returning to 2008 levels, Rich
Boehne, president and CEO of E.W. Scripps said.
The newspaper business has been a bit tougher for everyone. Scripps expects to log
a year-over-year revenue decline, with higher expenses due to newsprint prices.
The downtrend is expected to persist into 2011, with some indications of a floor.
“The trends in newspaper advertising are slightly more encouraging,” Boehne said.
“Some of our classified advertising categories--such as help wanted and automotive--have
shown real strength as 2010 ends.”
For non-operating items, Scripps said it expects restructuring charges of up to
$12 million in 2011 for the continuing reorganization of the newspaper
division. Depreciation and amortization is expected to be between $40 million
and $45 million. Capex should be between $15 million and $20 million. Corporate
and shared expenses are expected to remain approximately $8 million per quarter.
-- Deborah D. McAdams