EW Scripps Q4 Profits Fall as Political Ads Dry Up


CINCINNATI (AP)The E.W. Scripps Co. said Friday that its fourth-quarter net income fell, even as declines in the media company's newspaper business moderated.

Net income in the October-December period fell 75 percent to $6.3 million, or 11 cents per share, from $25.6 million, or 40 cents per share, a year ago.

The company attributed much of the decline to a lack of political advertising revenue at its TV stations during what had been a non-election year.

Scripps operates 19 television stations in major cities, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Phoenix, San Diego and Tampa, Fla. Its 13 newspapers serve metropolitan areas such as Corpus Christi, Texas, Memphis and Knoxville, Tenn., and Naples, Fla.

Revenue during the quarter declined 10 percent to $197 million from $220 million a year ago.

TV station revenue fell 16 percent to $84.7 million. Excluding swings in political advertising, TV station revenue grew 11 percent in the quarter.

Newspaper revenue slipped 3 percent to $110 million. The decline at newspapers was less than the 4 percent drop during the same period a year ago.

In October, Scripps said it would buy nine television stations from The McGraw-Hill Cos.

Scripps reiterated its expectation for the full year that TV station revenue will grow 50 percent when including an expected $100 million revenue boost from the newly acquired stations. That implies overall TV station revenue of $450 million. The company expects newspaper revenue in 2012 to be down slightly, at $400 million.

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