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Scripps Files Final Full-Year and 4Q Results

(March 4, 2009) CINCINNATI: E.W. Scripps ended 4Q08 with an operating loss of $11.5 million on revenues of $265 million, the company said Tuesday. Net loss for the quarter was $12.6 million, exacerbated by a $42 million impairment charge. For the full year, E.W. Scripps (NYSE: SSP) posted a $632.3 million loss on $1 billion in revenues. Net loss for the year was $476.6 million.

The company on Feb. 19 reported it would post a 4Q operating loss of $19.4 million on likewise revenues, and write down $31 million. Since that time, it shut down its Colorado newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, increasing impairment. The quarterly revision was also motivated by tax miscalculations related to last year’s spin-off of Scripps Networks.

The results for Scripps 10 TV stations remained unchanged from the February announcement, coming in with revenues of $93.4 million, up more than 2 percent over 4Q07. Net income was $31.1 million, up more than one percent over the comparable period. For the full year, TV revenues were flat at around $327 million. Net income fell 4 percent to $80.6 million.

SSP shares dipped briefly below a dollar in Tuesday trading, though its full-day performance reflected that of the wider market. Scripps was edging just over $1 by mid-day today, as the wider market also made a bit of a rebound.