With the company due to split in two next Monday, Standard & Poor’s is dropping E.W. Scripps Company, which will retain the newspaper and television businesses, from its S&P 500 stock index. The spot will go, instead, to the new Scripps Networks Interactive, which will have the cable networks and interactive media businesses.
Both new stocks have already been trading on a “when issued” basis – and there is a clear difference in the market view of each company. Scripps Networks Interactive, which will use the symbol “SNI,” has traded from $40.75 per share to $43.49, most recently around $41. Meanwhile, the post-split E.W. Scripps Company, which will retain the “SSP” ticker, has been trading when issued at $1.96-5.00, most recently around three bucks.
Next week’s split will be tax-free to existing Scripps shareholders, who will receive one share of each company for each share they now hold.
Scripps Networks Interactive will be anchored by the company’s two most successful cable channels, HGTV and Food Network. Other cable networks will include DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country. The spin-off will also own the Shopzilla and uSwitch Internet sites for comparative shopping. It is estimated that the new company will have annual revenues of around 1.4 billion and 2,100 employees.
The stripped-down E.W. Scripps Company will retain daily and community newspapers in 17 markets and 10 TV stations, including six ABC affiliates, three NBC and one independent. It will have revenues of around 1.1 billion and 7,100 employees.
RBR/TVBR observation: Kind of a slap in the face for the “old media” side. Not surprising, though. Wall Street traders are clearly much, much more excited about the cable/interactive stock than the TV/newspaper one.