E W Scripps, the newspaper and TV holding company, has decided to put its content and cartoons/comics licensing unit United Media on sale, it announced as part of its Q409 earnings results today. UM is responsible for licensing popular features such as “Peanuts” and “Dilbert”, among others, with the rationale being capitalizing on “recent interest and activity in the market for character-based properties.”
Scripps says it will be open to a sale or JV “involving all or part of United Media Licensing. Another option is to keep operating the business if the exploratory process leads management to determine that more long-term value can be created for company shareholders by retaining the property,” it said in its statement.
Meanwhile, on EW Scripps’ earnings, it had profits of $12 million in Q4, compared to a loss of $12.6 million in the prior-year period, on the backs of reduced restructuring costs after Scripps Interactive (NYSE: SNI) spinoff. The company also brought down expenses by 17 percent. Revenues dropped 18 percent to $217.4 million from $264.9 million in the year ago quarter.