"We’re well along in executing the steps we need to undertake between here and life as two separate publicly traded companies," EW Scripps CFO Joseph NeCastro told the UBS Conference. "Last week we filed a request with the IRS for a private-letter ruling affirming the tax- free nature of the proposed transaction, and we’re full-speed ahead preparing to file the Form 10 registration statement by the end of February. As it stands now, we’re on track to complete the transaction, as anticipated, by the end of the second quarter of next year," he said of the previously announced plan to split Scripps into two companies – one led by its cable network and the other its TV and newspaper operations.
Scripps also provided initial guidance on its outlook for 2008. Scripps Networks, the cable business, is projected to grow revenues 8-10% and expenses by a similar amount. For the TV station group, revenues, fueled by political advertising, are expected to jump 15-20%, with expenses up in the mid single digits. Newspaper revenues, though, are expected to be down in the low single digits, with expenses falling by a similar percentage.