Cable Nets Help to Boost Scripps

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The E.W. Scripps Co. reported strong third-quarter results Friday, largely on the back of its Shopzilla online-comparison-shopping service and its Scripps Networks cable services.

The company posted $595 million in operating revenue, up 19% from the year-ago period, and net income of $82.2 million, or 50 cents per share, versus $55.6 million (34 cents) in the third quarter of 2004.

Scripps Networks’ segment profit in the third quarter was up 38% year-over-year to $87.9 million, and total revenue rose 25% to $209 million. Ad revenue for the unit was up 27% to $163 million; affiliate-fee revenue jumped 18% to $43.6 million; programming, marketing and other expenses increased 15% to $95.6 million; and employee costs were up 17% to $28.4 million.

As for the individual networks:

• Home & Garden Television contributed $66.6 million to segment profit, up 34% from the prior-year quarter, and its revenue was up 20% to $106 million.

• Food Network contributed $45 million to segment profit, up 23%, and revenue grew 20% to $80 million

• Do It Yourself contributed $2 million to segment profit versus $928,000 in the year-earlier period, and revenue climbed to $11.1 million from $7.8 million.

• Fine Living lowered its segment loss from $2.5 million in the third quarter of 2004 to $343,000, and the network’s revenue rose to $6.4 million from $4.3 million.

• Great American Country’s segment loss was $128,000 and it posted $3.9 million in revenue. Scripps acquired GAC in November 2004, so year-earlier figures are not applicable.

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