Scripps upbeat on TV for 2008, but not newspapers


With little in the way of political advertising in Q4, TV revenues were down 18.3% to 91.5 million at E.W. Scripps Company. Local rose 14% and national was down 1.6%, while political dropped to 1.3 million from 28.9 million. But we are now in another political year, so CEO Ken Lowe is looking forward to a big year in 2008 for TV as political advertising returns big-time, primarily in the second half of the year. But he’s not so optimistic about the company’s newspapers, which will be paired with TV when the company splits.

Newspaper Q4 revenues fell 9.6% to 165, with local, national and classifieds all down double-digits, while online was up and circulation flat.

Meanwhile, the cable nets, Scripps Networks, had another big quarter, with ad revenues up 14% to 255 million and affiliate fees up 21% to 58.3 million. When the company is split in a few months, the cable networks will be spun off with Scripps Interactive Media, which saw Q4 revenues decline to 79.8 million from 86.6 million. That shortfall was blamed entirely on uSwitch, an online service for consumers to switch energy providers operating primarily in the UK.