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Scripps TV Station 2Q Dips

Revenue and income at the E.W. Scripps Co. (NYSE:SSP) TV stations was down from last year in the second quarter ending June 30. Scripps 10 stations generated $18.3 million in profit on revenues of $80.5 million, the Cincinnati media company reported. Both were down from the same period last year, when the station group generated $23.5 million in profit on revenues of $84.5 million.

“The decline in revenue and segment profit at the television station group was attributable to generally weak local and national advertising sales, particularly in the automotive and retail categories,” Scripps said in its earnings release.

Local advertising was down 7 percent last year to $50.4 million and national fell 7.6 percent to $23.8 million. Political advertising was up fourfold from $400,000 to $1.6 million, but was weaker than expected “due to the lack of primary campaign spending in Florida and Michigan,” Scripps said.

The Scripps empire split into two entities July 1--Scripps Networks Interactive, which encompasses the online concerns and the cable networks; and E.W. Scripps, comprised of the company“s 10 TV stations, its newspapers and print syndication business. The two companies reported this quarter's results together however, and generated $51.2 million in net income on revenues of $664 million. Revenue was 3.8 percent higher than the same period a year ago; net income last year was $97.5 million, or $1.78 a share compared to 94 cents a share for 2Q08. The discrepancy in earnings reflects a recently completed one-for-three reverse stock split on the E.W. Scripps side.