E.W. Scripps Cites Digital as Growth Driver

Online Video Views Fast Approaching 8 Million Per Month

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- E.W. Scripps reported its second-quarter earnings and -- in what is expected to be a theme around the TV industry this earnings season -- celebrated upbeat digital media revenues.
Scripps Networks websites, which include FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, DIYNet.com, Living.com and the newly redesigned GAC.com, generated about $15 million in revenue during the second quarter, up 57% from last year.
Scripps Networks websites, which include FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, DIYNet.com, Living.com and the newly redesigned GAC.com, generated about $15 million in revenue during the second quarter, up 57% from last year.

Scripps Networks websites, which include FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, DIYNet.com, Living.com and the newly redesigned GAC.com, generated about $15 million in revenue during the second quarter, up 57% from last year, said Scripps CEO Ken Lowe.

Usage up more than 100%
Scripps Networks Senior VP John Lansing boasted of "significant interest" in online video on the sites. Usage is up more than 100% year-over-year, he said, with its 7.5 million monthly views fast approaching 8 million video views per month. In addition to video on most of its network sites, Scripps introduced two new broadband channels -- HGTV's bath design and the DIY Network's woodworking channel -- over the past year.

Total company earnings from continuing operations were healthy, up slightly to $104.8 million, or 64 cents a share, compared to $103 million, or 62 cents a share, for the year-ago period. But overall earnings dropped 27%, mostly because Scripps is shedding its Shop at Home TV and website. E.W. Scripps includes Scripps Networks (HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country), newspapers in 18 markets, 10 broadcast TV networks and online shopping and comparison sites Shopzilla and U Switch.

Mr. Lowe said that "14% of our company's consolidated revenue came from our online enterprises, demonstrating just how serious we are about establishing Scripps as one of the world's leading internet companies."

Third-quarter predictions
Mr. Lansing projected Scripps Networks' third-quarter advertising revenue to be up 13% to 15% year over year and said it was expecting fourth-quarter revenue to rise 10% to 14%, "with the caveat, of course, that we're still very early in the process of negotiating commitments."

The earnings call touched on the cable upfront, noting that it is very early on in the ad-selling process but executives estimated Scripps Networks would end up near the top of wherever the general cable market ends up. Ratings growth, Mr. Lansing said, were putting more impressions into the marketplace, which is helping drive volume despite modest cost-per-thousand-viewer increases.

"We're really working hard to position ourselves to be a full-service media marketing partner, so when an advertiser and advertising agency is looking to shift dollars into some interactive or new platform strategy, that we're there with a solution for them to capture those dollars," he said.
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