Double-Digit Gains In Scripps Quarter

CincinnatiE.W. Scripps Co. reported a 14% increase in operating revenue and a 16% rise in operating income in the first quarter, fueled by gains at its cable networks.

Operating revenue for the quarter was $585 million and operating income was $114 million. The media giant reported a slight decrease in net income year-over-year, reporting a profit of $70 million (42 cents per share) compared to net income of $70.5 million (43 cents per share) in the same period last year.

Scripps reported strong gains at its cable networks Home & Garden Television, Food Network, Do It Yourself Network, Fine Living and Great American Country. Revenue at the cable networks was up 28% to $203 million, while segment profit (not including interest payments, income tax payments and investment results) increased 30% to $80.9 million.

At Shop At Home Network, revenue rose 38% to $102 million and net losses — at about $3.4 million in the quarter — were about even with losses of $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2004.

DirecTV Wraps Senior Facility

El Segundo, Calif.DirecTV Group Inc.’s DirecTV Holdings LLC subsidiary said April 13 that it has completed its previously announced senior-secured- credit facility. The direct-broadcast satellite company elected not to proceed with an anticipated $500 million unsecured notes offering, boosting the size of the facility to $2.5 billion.

The new senior-secured credit facility consists of a $500 million undrawn six-year revolving-credit facility, a $500 million six-year term-A loan and a $1.5 billion eight-year term-B loan.

Proceeds were used to repay the existing $1 billion senior-secured loan, to replace an undrawn $250 million revolving-credit facility, to repay an unsecured $875 million note owed to DirecTV Group and to pay transaction costs, with the remaining proceeds available for working capital or other purposes.

Charter Names Cramp GM for Fort Worth

AtlantaCharter Communications Inc.named Wayne Cramp vice president and general manager of its Fort Worth, Texas market area. Cramp succeeds Sharan Wilson who resigned for personal reasons.

Cramp, who has 25 years experience in the cable industry, will report to Chuck McElroy, senior vice president of operations for Charter’s Southeast Operating Division. He is the second VP appointment in the Southeast division in about a week.

On April 5, Charter announced that Kevin Todd Baxter was named vice president of customer care for the Southeast Operating Division, replacing Tracy Pitcher, who was appointed as a project leader for Charter’s “Focus on Excellence” initiative.

Cramp most recently served as regional vice president of operations for Comcast Corp.’s Southwest Region, based in Irving, Texas.