Earnings: EW Scripps' Swings To Loss; Online Newspaper Revs Fall 12 Percent On Classified Upsells

This story was written by David Kaplan.
With the first quarter that has EW Scripps (NYSE: SSP) reporting as a separate company from Scripps Interactive (NYSE: SNI), the newspaper/broadcaster said it will suspend its dividend payment to give it more flexibility as economic conditions worsen. As for Q3 results, EW Scripps swung to a loss from continuing operations of $21.0 million ($0.39 per share) compared with income of $16.6 million ($0.31 per share). The loss was due largely to costs related to the separation of the Scripps Networks and interactive media businesses totaling $22 million, as well as a $24.9 million non-cash charge to further write down the investment in its Denver newspaper partnership. Weakness in advertising drove the Cincinnati company's revenues down 9 percent to $230 million from $253 million the year before.

-- Newspapers' online revs fall: Revs fell 17 percent to $131 million. Ad revenue was down 20 percent to $101 million. And in a rare but growing occurence, online revenues dropped down 12 percent to $9.1 million. The decline in web revs were attributed to print upsells in classifieds, a sales model that newspapers like McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) and Gannett (NYSE: GCI) have been working actively to move away from in hopes of growing online.

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By David Kaplan