The E.W. Scripps Company third quarter results

Consolidated revenues from continuing operations were $168 million, a decrease of 8.6 percent from $184 million in the third quarter of 2010.

Operating expenses totalled $165 million, down 4.9 percent from the second quarter, and down 2.3 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Restructuring costs, largely for the ongoing efforts to standardise and centralise certain functions that should benefit the newspaper division starting in 2012, were $2.6 million.

The third quarter results include a non-cash charge for the impairment of long-lived assets at four of the company’s newspapers. The company concluded that the fair value of certain of its newspapers was less than the carrying value of its net assets. Scripps recorded in the third quarter a $9 million, pre-tax, non-cash charge to reduce the carrying value of property and equipment.

Largely due to the impairment charge, the company reported an $18.2 million loss from continuing operations before income taxes, compared with what was essentially a break-even quarter a year ago.

The loss from continuing operations, net of tax, was $10.7 million, or 19 cents per share in the 2011 quarter, compared with income from continuing operations, net of tax, of $5.4 million, or 8 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding the effect of the impairment charge, the loss from continuing operations, net of tax, would have been 9 cents per share in the most-recent quarter.

The tax provisions in the third quarter of both 2011 and 2010 include the impact of favourable settlements of the examinations of prior-year tax returns.

“We continue to reshape Scripps, improving the company’s short-term and long-term opportunities for growth,” said Rich Boehne, Scripps president and CEO. “We believe local TV stations are both good businesses today and attractive launching pads for the future, which is why during the quarter we agreed to purchase the nine stations now owned by McGraw-Hill Broadcasting. At a purchase price of $212 million, we should show a strong return on investment and gain access to TV and digital media consumers and advertisers in Indianapolis, Denver and San Diego. Plus we picked up a great small-market station in Bakersfield, Calif., and access to the developing Spanish-language market through five Azteca stations in Colorado and California. We’re eager to close the deal and bring these businesses into the Scripps fold.

USA, Cincinnati, OH

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