E.W. Scripps Company (New)(OLD) (NASDAQ:SSP) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 08, 2019 • 09:30 am ET


E.W. Scripps Company (New)(OLD) (NASDAQ:SSP) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Scripps third quarter earnings call. [Operator Instructions]. I'll turn the call now over to Carolyn Micheli Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Carolyn Pione Micheli

Thank you. Good morning everyone and thanks for joining us for a discussion of the E.W. Scripps company's third quarter 2019 results. A reminder that our conference call and webcast include forward-looking statements and actual results may differ. Factors that may cause them to differ are outlined in our SEC filings. You can visit scripps.com for more information. You also can sign up to receive e-mails any time we disclose financial information and you can listen to an audio replay of this call there. The link to the replay will be this afternoon and available for a week. We'll hear first this morning from Chief Financial Officer Lisa Knutson; then Local Media President Brian Lawlor; and National Media Executive Vice President Laura Tomlin.

And finally from President and CEO Adam Symson. Also in the room with us today is Controller and Treasurer Doug Lyons. Lisa?

Lisa Ann Knutson

Good morning everyone. Today we're pleased to once again report quarterly financial results across the company that met or exceeded expectations. During the third quarter we closed on our third television station transactions of the year. On September 19 we completed the purchase of 8 stations being divested by Nexstar and Tribune in their merger. On May 1, we closed on 15 stations from Cordillera and on January 1, we closed on the acquisition of three stations from grey and rain calm. Today I will discuss our financial results as though he had owned all the news stations since January 1 of 2018. And today's press release, you can find the results on both and as reported basis and on an adjusted combined basis. We hope this presentation gives you a clear picture of our growth. Also I wanted to point out that street consensus estimates are not comparable to our third quarter results or fourth quarter guidance. Some analysts have already submitted new estimates incorporating the Nexstar Tribune divestitures and some have not. So consensus reflects a mix of numbers. Now let's talk about our strong third quarter performance. In our Local Media division on an adjusted combined or same-station basis revenue was $305 million or 12% -- a 12% decline from the third quarter of 2018. In last year's third quarter we had about $57 million in political ad revenue on an adjusted combined basis compared to about $5.5 million in 2019.

Core advertising was up nearly 4% on the adjusted combined basis. Retransmission revenue was $109 million. Expenses for local media were flat. Now let's talk about the rest of the company's Q3 results on an as-reported basis. The National Media division delivered strong results for the quarter. The division exceeded our revenue guidance of mid-$90 million coming close to $100 million for the second consecutive quarter. Expenses were in line with expectations.