A week after E.W. Scripps’ board approved a plan to split itself in two, separating its interactive unit from the rest of the broadcast and newspaper operations, the company saw Q3 net income rise 20.9 percent to $88.4 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $73.1 million, or 44 cents a share, for the same period in last year. Revenues were up a slight 2.2 percent to $596 million compared with $583 million during the same period a year ago. Other highlights from its Q3 report included:
— Scripps (NYSE: SSP) Interactive Media: The division, which includes online comparison shopping services Shopzilla and uSwitch, posted Q3 revenue of $54.6 million, a 10.3 percent drop from $60.9 million last year. Segment profit for the interactive media division was also down 8.9 percent to $8.2 million from $9.0 million the same three-month period a year earlier. Scripps said the declines in Interactive Media revenue and segment profit was due to “reduced online energy switching activity at uSwitch and lower referral fee revenue at Shopzilla.”
— Scripps Networks: Q3 revenues grew 16 percent year-over-year to $289 million. Segment profit for the division, which includes cable TV properties HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network and others, was up 18 percent to $137 million. Online ad revenue at Scripps Networks surged 31 percent to $17.3 million during the quarter. Scripps Networks represented nearly half of the company’s consolidated revenue during the third quarter.
— Newspapers: Total Q3 revs came in at $158 million slipped 6 percent from last year’s $168 million. Newspaper online revenue gained 19 percent year-over-year to $10.4 million. Total segment profit slumped 7.1 percent to $36.9 million from Q306’s $39.7 million. The newspaper unit’s Q3 woes were the result of lower local and classified ad sales, including particularly weak real estate and employment advertising in the slumping Florida and California markets.