The E.W. Scripps Company today reported increased revenue in the third quarter, with television operating revenues up 22% from third-quarter 2013.
The increase was driven by $17.4 million in political advertising, along with contributions from two stations acquired from Granite in the second quarter, and a jump of almost 50% in retransmission revenue, the company said.
“During October and through Election Night on Tuesday, we booked $33 million of political advertising, bringing the total for the year to $58 million,” the company noted in its announcement. Third-quarter comparisons are to the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013.
In a statement, Scripps Chairman, President and CEO Rich Boehne said: “Television demonstrated its power as a platform for engaging local voters once again in the third quarter. Our local TV brands proved to be the venue of choice for candidates and issue backers in several of the most active election states. For us, this is a low-cost revenue stream that at its peak displaces some core local advertisers. Many of them choose to wait instead of competing with the flurry of political messages. Now with the elections behind us, we expect core advertisers to return through the remainder of the fourth quarter.”
Revenue reported for the television division was $121 million in the third quarter, up $21.8 million, or 22%, from 2013. Newspapers posted a 4.4% decline in total operating revenue, with subscription revenue up 2%.