Report: Discovery, Scripps End Talks

Stock Dips 4% After Journal Says Scripps Family Unwilling to Sell

Scripps Networks Interactive shares dipped 4% in early trading Monday on reports that Discovery Communications has ended its talks concerning a possible merger with the rival programmer.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter, Discovery and Scripps  are no longer pursuing a deal.  Talks had never left the early stages and no formal bid was ever made. Reports first surfaced in December that Discovery was considering acquiring Scripps, the parent of Food Network, Travel Channel  and HGTV. While no definitive reason was given for the talks breaking off,  apparently the Scripps family, which controls a substantial portion of Scripps Networks stock, was not ready to sell. Discovery instead will focus on its international strategy.

Scripps stock dipped  as low as 4.3% ($3.53) to $78.48 in nearly trading Monday. The stock was trading at $78.73 (down 3.28 or 4%) as of 9:35 a.m. Jan. 13.

Discovery shares were down slightly (8 cents each, or 1%) to $83.94 per share in Monday morning trading.