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The E.W. Scripps Company (SSP)

  • Wed, Mar. 11, 6:47 PM
    • Following shareholder approval of its merger with Journal Communications (NYSE:JRN), E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP) has been upgraded by credit rater S&P -- though its credit still isn't great.
    • The ratings agency changed Scripps' business risk profile to "fair," an upgrade from "weak," due to improvements in scale and operating profitability from taking on Journal's 15 TV stations and 35 radio stations.
    • The move means Scripps exits S&P's CreditWatch list.
    • The agency also raised SSP's corporate credit rating to BB from BB-, and its senior secured debt rating to BBB- from BB+.
    • Today: SSP flat; JRN +0.2%.
    • Previously: Scripps, Journal Communications shareholders OK merger/spinoff (Mar. 11 2015)
    | Comment!
  • Wed, Mar. 11, 11:57 AM
    • Shareholders of E.W. Scripps (SSP +0.2%) and Journal Communications (JRN 0.4%) have signed off on the two companies' merger/spinoff plans.
    • With no remaining regulatory or shareholder approvals, the deal is setting up for an early Q2 close.
    • The two will combine their broadcast and digital media assets under a company retaining the E.W. Scripps name, and put their newspapers and community publications and related digital products into a firm to be called Journal Media Group.
    • The two will trade on NYSE under the symbols SSP (for Scripps) and JMG (for Journal Media Group).
    • Scripps shareholders will also get a $60M special dividend from the deal, with details to come Friday.
    • Previously: Newspapers provide headwind for Scripps' Q4 earnings (Mar. 04 2015)
    • Previously: Gabelli expects Journal-Scripps combo despite his opposition (Feb. 19 2015)
    | Comment!
  • Wed, Mar. 4, 8:58 AM
    • E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP) posted lackluster earnings for Q4 as TV results boosted by midterm political ads couldn't shake the drag from newspapers.
    • The company missed on top and bottom lines. Income from operations before taxes of $18.1M, up from $7.1M. EPS of $0.27 was impacted by acquisition-integration costs and write-offs totaling about $0.11/share.
    • Revenue breakouts: Television, $147M (up 28%); Newspapers, $95M (down 7.9%); Shared services/corporate (includes investment in digital ops), $15.1M (up 2%).
    • Cash and equivalents at year's end of $158M vs. total debt of $198M.
    • Along with shareholders of Journal Communications (NYSE:JRN), the company is set for a March 11 vote to merge and combine their broadcast operations in one company (to be called E.W. Scripps) and newspaper ops in the other (to be called Journal Media Group).
    • The company isn't providing guidance (and hasn't been repurchasing shares) due to the Journal transaction.
    • Conference call at 9 a.m. ET.
    • Press release
    | Comment!
  • Wed, Mar. 4, 7:32 AM
    • E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP): Q4 EPS of $0.27 misses by $0.13.
    • EPS of $0.38 excluding acquisition-integration costs and investment write-offs.
    • Revenue of $245.73M (+11.3% Y/Y) misses by $3.03M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Tue, Mar. 3, 5:30 PM
  • Thu, Feb. 19, 1:06 PM
    • Mario Gabelli -- whose funds hold 19% of Journal Communications (NYSE:JRN) -- opposes the company's plan to combine broadcast ops with E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP), but without the votes to kill it, he'll either vote no or abstain.
    • While the numbers make sense to Gabelli, he's unhappy that Journal would get no voice on Scripps' board -- and that the Scripps family still has outsized representation. Journal shareholders would account for 31% of the combined shares.
    • "They're going to get the votes," Gabelli says of the approvals scheduled for simultaneous shareholder meetings on March 11.
    • Along with combining broadcast operations, the plan involves spinning off combined newspapers into an entity called Journal Media Group based in Milwaukee, while Scripps would run the broadcast operation from Cincinnati.
    • Shares today: JRN -1.5%; SSP -1.7%.
    | Comment!
  • Tue, Feb. 3, 10:17 AM
    • The New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT) is up 5.9% on news of its Q4 earnings beat.
    • Digital ad growth of 19% is seen as encouraging as the company wrestles with slipping print advertising revenue.
    • News peers are also trading higher today: (GCI +2.8%), (SSP +2.9%), (LEE +3.4%), (AHC +2.5%).
    • The NYT conference call comes up at 11 a.m.
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 10, 2014, 10:21 AM
    • E.W. Scripps (SSP +0.1%) says it extended the employment contract of CEO Rich Boehne to August of 2016.
    • Boehne has held the top job at the company since 2008.
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 7, 2014, 9:45 AM
    • E.W. Scripps (SSP +2.8%) reports a 21.9% rise in TV segment to $121.07M in Q3.
    • Political advertising improved drastically during the period to $17.4M (Year ago sales $1.04M).
    • Retransmission fees up 46.4% to $15.24M.
    • Newspaper revenue fell 4.4% to $84.47M.
    • Operating expenses +3.7% to $204.94M.
    • Q4 Guidance: Television revenues, as a percentage, to increase in upper 20s, including $33.0M in Political advertising & $15.0M in Retransmission revenue. Television expenses to increase low teens. Newspaper revenues to decline mid-single digits and expenses to decline low single digits. Shared services and corporate expenses to be less than $15.0M.
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 7, 2014, 7:39 AM
    • E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP): Q3 EPS of -$0.02 misses by $0.08.
    • Revenue of $207.6M (+9.5% Y/Y) misses by $9.45M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Nov. 6, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • Aug. 11, 2014, 1:45 PM
    • There's some asset re-allocation going on in the media sector with a group of newspapers stocks piling on some gains - while select TV broadcaster and digital media stocks head in the other direction.
    • The flurry of merger and spinoff news within the sector has created more pure-play bets and consolidated some firms into larger players.
    • Analysts have noted the extra volatility in the sector has created more buy/sell opportunities than normal on mismatched valuation.
    • Gainers: McClatchy (NYSE:MNI) +3.0%, Lee Enterprises (NYSE:LEE) +3.3%, New Media Investment (NYSE:NEWM) +4.4%.
    • Decliners: E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP) -3.6%, Media General (NYSE:MEG) -2.1%, Journal Communication (NYSE:JRN) -3.4%.
    • Related ETF: PBS
    | Comment!
  • Aug. 8, 2014, 7:51 AM
    • E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP) reports Q2 revenue from its TV segment rose 4% to $115.8B to offset a 1.3% dip in newspaper revenue to $92.3M.
    • Local and political advertising improved during the period.
    • Operating expenses +7.6% to $214.9M.
    | Comment!
  • Aug. 8, 2014, 7:38 AM
    • E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP): Q2 EPS of $0.02 misses by $0.08.
    • Revenue of $212M (+2.0% Y/Y) misses by $6.22M.
    • Press Release
    | Comment!
  • Jul. 31, 2014, 12:45 PM
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  • Jul. 31, 2014, 10:10 AM
    • E.W. Scripps (SSP +9.5%) and Journal Communications (JRN +24.1%) announce they will merge their broadcast operations and spin off the businesses as a new publicly traded company.
    • The newspaper businesses of both entities will then be merged into a new entity called Journal Media Group.
    • The deals are expected to close in 2015.
    | Comment!
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Company Description
The E W Scripps Cois a media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers, and local and national digital media sites. It operates in three segments namely television, newspaper and syndication.