The E.W. Scripps Co. reported operating results for the first quarter of 2012 that reflect improved profitability of the company's local media businesses.
Scripps, the parent company of the Naples Daily News, reported consolidated revenues were $207 million, a 15 percent increase from $180 million in the first quarter of 2011. The 2012 quarter included revenue from nine television stations acquired Dec. 30. Excluding the new stations, consolidated revenues increased 2.3 percent to $185 million.
"We're off to an encouraging start in 2012," said Rich Boehne, Scripps president and CEO. "Revenue in our TV and newspaper markets came in a little better than expected and the associated cash expenses were down, despite the investments we're making in new digital products and services."
Scripps reported revenue growth of nearly 10 percent at the Daily News. Total revenue from Scripps newspapers in the first quarter was $104 million, down 1.7 percent from the first quarter of 2011. Excluding Naples, the division's revenue would have decreased 3.8 percent, Scripps reported.
Boehne also said Scripps is starting an aggressive schedule of new product launches for smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops across all of the company's markets.
Digital revenue rose approximately 50 percent year over year to $3.1 million in the first quarter. Excluding the new stations, digital revenue grew 20 percent.
Total operating expenses were $199 million, compared with $180 million in the year-ago quarter. Excluding the new stations, total operating expenses in the 2012 quarter were $179 million. The Cincinnati-based company reported a loss, net of tax, of $4.4 million, or 8 cents per share in the 2012 quarter, compared with a loss, net of tax, of $8.9 million, or 15 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding the acquisition costs mentioned above, the net loss in the 2012 quarter would have been 2 cents.