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Earnings: Scripps Posts Higher Q3 Revenue And Profits, While Interactive Unit Revs Fall 10.3 Percent

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.

Earnings release | Webcast (11 a.m. EDT)