In this morning’s earnings report for the fourth quarter, E.W. Scripps Co. announced that revenue from the television group soared 37% to $233 million, up $62.7 million, TVNewsCheck reports.
Predictably, with 2016 being a presidential election year, a big part of the surge was attributable to political advertising. Political was $56.2 million in the quarter vs. $2.1 million in 2015. But retransmission revenue was also a huge gainer, surging by $24.7 million, or 69%, to $60.5 million.
Core local and national advertising was off by 12%, attributable to displacement by political advertising. Local was down 11.3% to $80 million, while national fell 14.5% to $32.8 million, the report notes.
“Total segment expenses increased 6.3% to $137 million, driven by increases in programming fees tied to network affiliation agreements,” TVNewsCheck notes. “Fourth-quarter segment profit in the television division was $96 million, compared to $41.4 million in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 132%.”