E. W. Scripps’ (NYSE: SSP) board has approved executives’ plan to separate Scripps into two public companies, effective July 1. The board’s vote follows Scripps decision in October to split into two companies, one focused on interactive services and the other on local media businesses, including newspapers and TV stations. The separation will take the form of a tax-free distribution of stock to Scripps shareholders in a new company called Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. The E.W. Scripps name will remain in place for the local media company. Post-transaction, Scripps shareholders will continue to own stock in both companies.
But the split is not complete. Scripps’ move still has to pass regulatory muster with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Secondly, the transaction also requires the approval of Scripps’ controlling class of shareholders, who will vote on the issue at the company’s annual shareholders meeting on June 13. The board also approved a one-for-three reverse stock split for shares in The E. W. Scripps Company that will take affect on July 16, pending shareholder approval. Release