Scripps headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio
|Traded as||NASDAQ: SSP (Class A)|
S&P 600 Component
|Industry||Broadcast television, broadcast radio|
|Founded||November 2, 1878|
(as the Penny Press)
|Founder||Edward W. Scripps|
|Rich Boehne (chairman)|
Adam P. Symson (President & CEO)
|Revenue||US$1.42 Billion (2019)|
|US$127 million (2016)|
The E. W. Scripps Company is an American broadcasting company founded in 1878 as a chain of daily newspapers by Edward Willis "E. W." Scripps. It was also formerly a media conglomerate. The company is headquartered inside the Scripps Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its corporate motto is "Give light and the people will find their own way."
In terms of market reach, Scripps is the second largest operator of ABC (which is owned by The Walt Disney Company by way of its Walt Disney Television subsidiary) affiliates, behind the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and ahead of Hearst Television and Tegna.
In 1894, Scripps and his half-brother, George H. Scripps, organized their various papers into the first modern newspaper chain. In July 1895, it was named the Scripps-McRae League to reflect the leadership of Cincinnati Post general manager Milton A. McRae, a longtime partner. The company expanded during the decade to publish newspapers in California, Denver, Chicago, Dallas and Nashville and elsewhere.
In early November 1922, the Scripps-McRae League was renamed Scripps-Howard Newspapers to recognize company executive Roy W. Howard. On November 23, the E. W. Scripps Company was incorporated and placed in trust for Scripps' children and grandchildren. The company's shares were divided into two types: Class A Common Shares, which were traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and common voting shares, which were not publicly traded and elected a majority of the company's directors. (A number of media companies, including the New York Times Company and the Washington Post organization, are governed by this system so that the descendants of the company's founders can keep control of the company.) E. W. Scripps died in 1926.
On June 2, 1902, Scripps founded the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), based in Cleveland, Ohio, as a news report service for different Scripps-owned newspapers. It started selling content to non-Scripps owned newspapers in 1907, and by 1909, it became a more general syndicate, offering comics, pictures and features as well. It moved from Cleveland to Chicago in 1915, with an office in San Francisco. NEA rapidly grew and delivered content to 400 newspapers in 1920 and about 700 in 1930. Today, it is oldest syndicate still in operation.
Scripps created the United Press news agency in 1907 by uniting three smaller syndicates and controlled it until a 1958 merger with William Randolph Hearst's smaller competing agency, INS, to form United Press International. With the Hearst Corporation as a minority partner, UPI continued under Scripps management until it was sold off in 1982. A separate wire service, the Scripps Howard News Service, operated for 96 years from 1917 to 2013.
United Feature Syndicate was formed in 1919 as a division of UP to distribute editorial columns, features and comic strips, and became a dominant player in the syndication market in the fall of 1931 thanks to Scripps' acquisition of the New York World, which controlled the Pulitzer company's syndication arms, Press Publishing Co. and World Feature Service. In May 1978, Scripps merged United Feature Syndicate and Newspaper Enterprise Association to form United Media Enterprises.
The company expanded its newspaper holdings throughout the pre-World War II period, acquiring many titles and merging them, including the Rocky Mountain News and Knoxville News-Sentinel. A trickle of closures and sales occurred over the next few decades. In 1966, Scripps' New York World-Telegram was merged into the New York World Journal Tribune, which closed in 1967. Papers in Indianapolis, Washington, Houston and Fort Worth were closed in the 1960s and 1970s, and the former flagship Cleveland Press was sold in 1980. Scripps also closed properties in Memphis, Columbus, Thousand Oaks and El Paso throughout the 1980s and 1990s, while selling the Pittsburgh Press in 1992.
In 1997, Scripps bought daily newspapers in the Texas cities of Abilene, Wichita Falls, San Angelo and Plano, plus the paper in Anderson, S.C. from Harte-Hanks Communications, along with 25 non-daily newspapers and San Antonio-based KENS-TV and KENS-AM. The purchase price was to be between $605 and $775 million, depending on a federal ruling. (Scripps eventually spun off all of its newspapers into Journal Media Group in 2015.)
Scripps made its first foray into broadcasting in 1935, forming a company called Continental Radio and buying radio stations WCPO in Cincinnati and WNOX in Knoxville. After the war, In 1947, Scripps opened its first television station, Cleveland-based WEWS-TV, with Memphis-based WMC-TV and Cincinnati-based WCPO-TV in subsequent years. It now owns dozens of TV and radio stations. In the 1980s and 1990s, Scripps became a cable television provider and also developed programming for cable, notably regional sports programming like the SportSouth Network in 1990, Food Network in 1993 and HGTV in 1994. (Scripps spun off its cable properties into Scripps Network Interactive in 2008.)
The company went public with an IPO in 1988. It owned 20 daily newspapers and 9 television stations at the time, with and cable systems in 10 states. The company completed a new downtown Cincinnati headquarters, the 35-story high-rise Scripps Center, in 1990.
In October 2007, Scripps announced that it would separate into two publicly traded companies: The E. W. Scripps Company (newspapers, TV stations, licensing/syndication) and Scripps Networks Interactive (HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel (formerly known as Fine Living), Travel Channel and Great American Country). The transaction was completed on July 1, 2008.
On February 24, 2011, United Media struck a distribution deal with Universal Uclick (now known as Andrews McMeel Syndication) for syndication of the company's 150 comic strip and news features, which became effective on June 1 of that year. At that point, United Media, and by extension the Scripps Company, got out of the syndication business.
On September 12, 2011, Scripps partnered with Cox Media Group and Raycom Media to launch Right This Minute, a viral video program. On the same day, Scripps launched The List, a news magazine. Both were part of an approach for "homegrown" programming--programming created by Scripps. Raycom also launched America Now on the same day. The creator of RTM and The List applied this "homegrown" programming approach to Tegna in 2015, with the launch of T.D. Jakes. Scripps launched Let's Ask America in 2013 (now cancelled), partnering with Telepictures to do so, and Pickler and Ben in 2017.
On October 3, 2011, Scripps announced it was purchasing the television arm of McGraw-Hill for $212 million. This purchase nearly doubled the number of Scripps stations to 19 with a combined reach of 13% of U.S. households. Upon the 2012 death of E. W. Scripps' grandson, Robert Scripps, the Edward W. Scripps Trust was dissolved and its stock divided among the surviving trustees.
On July 30, 2014, Scripps and Journal Communications announced that the two companies would merge and spin-off their newspaper assets. The deal created a broadcast group under the E. W. Scripps Company name and retaining the Cincinnati headquarters, and a newspaper company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, under the Journal Media Group name. The FCC approved the deal on December 12, 2014, and it was approved by shareholders on March 11, 2015. The merger and spinoff were completed on April 1, 2015. In turn, Journal Media Group was acquired by Gannett Company on April 8, 2016. Gannett had also shed their television and broadcast operations into a spin-off, Tegna, months after the Scripps-Journal merger.
On August 1, 2017, Scripps announced the purchase of Katz Broadcasting and its three networks plus Bounce which Katz operates, for $292 million, acquiring the other 95% of the company. The purchase was completed on October 2, 2017. On May 22, 2018, Scripps announced that it was changing its common stock listing from the New York Stock Exchange to Nasdaq, which occurred on June 4, 2018.
|The Day Book||Chicago||closed||July 6, 1917||Experimental, advertising-free penny press that fell short of profit expectations.|
|Youngstown Telegram||Youngstown, Ohio||July 2, 1936||Acquired by the Youngstown Vindicator Printing Company and merged into The Vindicator.|
|Toledo News-Bee||Toledo, Ohio||August 2, 1938||Remnants of the paper were acquired by The Toledo Blade.|
|Houston Press||Houston, Texas||March 20, 1964||Assets were sold to The Houston Chronicle.|
|San Francisco News||San Francisco||merged||1965||Founded 1903. Merged with the Hearst's San Francisco Call-Bulletin to form The News-Call Bulletin in 1959. Hearst acquired complete control in 1962 and merged it into the San Francisco Examiner in 1965.|
|Indianapolis Times||Indianapolis, Indiana||closed||October 11, 1965||Evening newspaper|
|New York World-Telegram||New York City||merged, then closed||April 23, 1966
World-Telegram and Sun
May 5, 1967
World Journal Tribune
|Known as the New York World-Telegram and Sun after 1951, when it purchased the remnants of the New York Sun. After a proposed joint operating agreement between two other newspapers with distinct histories - Hearst's New York Journal American and John Hay Whitney's New York Herald Tribune - collapsed due to union pressure, all three merged to form the New York World Journal Tribune (all three owners had a stake in the publication as "World Journal Tribune, Inc."). The combined paper did not launch for 140 days due to a newspaper strike triggered by the merger, and ultimately folded the following May. Scripps would maintain ownership of the World-Telegram's annual publication, The World Almanac and Book of Facts until 1993, when that was sold to Primedia.|
|The Washington Daily News||Washington, DC||sold||August 1972||Sold to, and ultimately merged into, The Washington Star.|
|Fort Worth Press||Fort Worth, Texas||closed||1975|
|Cleveland Press||Cleveland, Ohio||sold||October 31, 1980||The company's first newspaper and original flagship. Merged with the Cleveland News in 1960. Sold to entrepreneur Joseph E. Cole in 1980 after the Cleveland Plain Dealer surpassed it in both circulation and revenue throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Subsequently, closed on June 17, 1982.|
|Memphis Press-Scimitar||Memphis, Tennessee||closed||October 31, 1983||Afternoon-only daily paper. The paper's roots trace back to 1880; it was acquired by Scripps' antecedent, the Scripps-McRae League, in 1906. Scripps purchased the city's morning paper, The Commercial Appeal in 1936, and retained it until it exited the newspaper business.|
|Columbus Citizen-Journal||Columbus, Ohio||December 31, 1985||Founded in 1899. Also had its roots in what was one of the first newspapers in Ohio, The Ohio State Journal, which was founded in 1814. Operated as part of a joint operating agreement with The Columbus Dispatch for several decades; Scripps folded the paper after the Dispatch terminated the JOA, and a sale of the paper to Akron-area businessman Nyles V. Reinfeld collapsed.|
|Pittsburgh Press||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||sold||May 17, 1992||Sold to Block Communications, subsequently merged into the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Revived as an online-only paper from 2011 to 2015.|
|Thousand Oaks News Chronicle||Thousand Oaks, California||closed||July 22, 1995||Publication relocated to Camarillo, California and merged with the co-owned Ventura County Star.|
|El Paso Herald-Post||El Paso, Texas||October 11, 1997|
|Birmingham Post-Herald||Birmingham, Alabama||September 23, 2005||The paper's roots trace back to the Elyton Herald, founded 21 years before Birmingham's incorporation as a city. Merged with the Scripps-owned Birmingham Post in 1950. Long a morning newspaper, it switched to an afternoon-only publication by request of joint operating agreement partner The Birmingham News (which itself became a tri-weekly in 2012).|
|Cincinnati Post||Cincinnati, Ohio||December 31, 2007||Distributed in the Covington, Kentucky region as The Kentucky Post; that version was converted to an online-only publication as KYPost.com, which operates to this day.|
|The Albuquerque Tribune||Albuquerque, New Mexico||February 23, 2008||Founding owner Carl Magee's slogan for the paper, "Give light and the people will find their own way," and accompanying lighthouse logo, would both be adopted by Scripps after their 1923 acquisition of the paper.|
|Rocky Mountain News||Denver, Colorado||February 27, 2009||Purchased by Scripps in 1926. Folded 55 days prior to its 150th anniversary of publication.|
|Colorado Daily||Boulder, Colorado||sold||2009||Acquired by Media News Group Inc.|
|The Daily Camera||Boulder, Colorado||2009||Acquired by Media News Group Inc.|
|Ventura County Star||Camarillo, California||sold||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|Redding Record Searchlight||Redding, California||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|Naples Daily News||Naples, Florida||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|Evansville Courier & Press||Evansville, Indiana||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|Fullerton News Tribune||Fullerton, California||1987||sold to San Diego-based Community Media Enterprises with 23 other weeklies in 1987; folded into Orange County Register operations with 1992 sale to Freedom Communications; now part of Digital First Media|
|The Gleaner||Henderson, Kentucky||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|The Knoxville News-Sentinel||Knoxville, Tennessee||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|The Commercial Appeal||Memphis, Tennessee||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|Abilene Reporter-News||Abilene, Texas||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|San Angelo Standard-Times||San Angelo, Texas)||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|Times Record News||Wichita Falls, Texas||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|Kitsap Sun||Bremerton, Washington||April 1, 2015||spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|The Stuart News||Stuart, Florida||April 1, 2015||bought by Scripps in 1965; part of Treasure Coast Newspapers; spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|Indian River Press Journal||Vero Beach, Florida||April 1, 2015||bought by Scripps in 1996; part of Treasure Coast Newspapers; spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|The St. Lucie News-Tribune||Fort Pierce, Florida||April 1, 2015||bought by Scripps in 2000; part of Treasure Coast Newspapers; spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
|The Jupiter Courier||Jupiter, Florida||April 1, 2015||weekly, bought by Scripps in 1978; part of Treasure Coast Newspapers; spun off into Journal Media Group; now part of Gannett|
The distribution rights to properties syndicated by United Media were outsourced to Universal Uclick in February 2011. While United Media effectively ceased to exist, Scripps still maintains copyrights and intellectual property rights.
Scripps' broadcast television stations division--also commonly known as Scripps Media or Scripps Howard Broadcasting, currently owns or operates 62 television stations in forty-three markets, with full-power and low-power stations as well as rebroadcaster, translator, repeater and satellite stations included. Among them, nineteen ABC affiliates, twelve CBS affiliates, eleven NBC affiliates, six Fox affiliates, five CW affiliates, two MyNetworkTV affiliates, and one station independent of any network affiliation. Its portfolio is the most diverse in the industry--in terms of market sizes, from New York City to Helena, Montana.
Scripps also previously owned the Shop at Home Network from 2000 until 2006. Shop at Home in turn owned five television stations, all as a division of its cable network division.
From 1990 to 1995, Scripps was a partner in the regional sports network SportSouth, along with Turner Broadcasting and Tele-Communications, Inc.; in 1996 the network was sold to News Corporation and became Fox Sports South.
Attempts to use Shop at Home as a complementary service to Food Network and HGTV by selling products connected to personalities of those networks were middling compared to competitors QVC and HSN. On May 22, 2006, Scripps announced that it was to cease operations of the network and intended to sell each of Shop at Home's five owned and operated television stations.Jewelry Television eventually acquired Shop at Home, but Scripps still intended to sell its affiliated stations (Jewelry Television discontinued most Shop at Home operations in March 2008). On September 26, 2006, Scripps announced that it was selling its Shop at Home TV stations to New York City-based Multicultural Television for $170 million.
On October 3, 2011, Scripps announced it was purchasing all seven television stations owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies for $212 million; the sale is a result of McGraw-Hill's decision to exit the broadcasting industry to focus on its other core properties, including its publishing unit. This deal was approved by the FTC on October 31 and the FCC on November 29. The deal was completed on December 30, 2011.
On February 10, 2014, Scripps announced it has reached a deal to acquire Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW-TV and Detroit MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD for $110 million. The sale was approved by the FCC on May 2, 2014 and was completed on June 16, 2014. This deal has created a duopoly between WMYD and ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV.
On January 25, 2018, it was announced that Scripps had placed its radio station unit for sale. The divestiture of these stations - which were acquired through the company's 2015 acquisition of Journal Communications - would result in the separation of Scripps's television stations in Tulsa, Omaha, Milwaukee, Boise and Tucson from their co-owned radio clusters (in the case of Tulsa, KJRH-TV would be separated from KFAQ for the second time; the two stations, then using the shared KVOO callsign, were first split up in 1970, when Central Plains Enterprises sold the then-KVOO-TV to Scripps). In June 2018, Griffin Communications reached a deal to buy the Scripps Tulsa radio cluster. The sale was completed on July 28, 2018. In July 2018, Good Karma Brands reached a deal to buy the Scripps Milwaukee radio cluster. The sale was completed on November 1, 2018.
On August 20, 2018, Scripps agreed to purchase ABC affiliates KXXV in Waco, Texas and satellite station KRHD-CD in Bryan, Texas and WTXL-TV in Tallahassee, Florida, which are being spun off from the Gray Television-Raycom Media merger in order to alleviate ownership conflicts involving Gray's ownership of CBS affiliate KWTX-TV and its semi-satellite KBTX-TV in the Waco market and CBS affiliate WCTV and Retro Television Network affiliate WFXU in the Tallahassee market.
On October 29, 2018, Cordillera Communications announced that it would sell all but one of its television stations to Scripps. KVOA in Tucson, Arizona is not included in the deal as Scripps already owns KGUN-TV and KWBA in that market, and Cordillera will concurrently sell KVOA to Quincy Media. The FCC approved the sale on April 5, 2019, and the sale was completed on May 1.
On March 20, 2019, Scripps announced that it would acquire eight of the 21 (initially 19) stations being divested as part of Nexstar Media Group's $580 million (USD) acquisition of Tribune Media. The Tribune stations include CBS affiliates WTKR in Norfolk and WTVR-TV in Richmond--both in Virginia, along with Fox affiliates KSTU in Salt Lake City, Utah and WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan and CW affiliates WPIX in New York City, WGNT in Norfolk, Virginia and WSFL-TV in Miami, Florida. The only Nexstar station being acquired is CW affiliate KASW in Phoenix, Arizona--which would create a duopoly with longtime Scripps-owned ABC affiliate KNXV-TV. Also, Nexstar has the option to buy WPIX back between March 31, 2020 and December 31, 2021. The FCC approved the sale on September 16 with all of the transactions being completed on September 19.
|AM Station||FM Station|
Scripps also operates the national (US) spelling bee. The final competition is in Washington, DC, and it is broadcast on ESPN and ABC. Lower levels are organized by the school, then county and eventually to the final competition.
The corporate motto for Cincinnati-based media chain E.W. Scripps Co. is 'Give light and the people will find their own way,' which the lighthouse logo has come to symbolize.
Turns out, not so much - quite the opposite, really. The Washington Post seems fine, but recently, in just over a week, three of the biggest players in American newspapers - Gannett, Tribune Company and E. W. Scripps, companies built on print franchises that expanded into television - dumped those properties like yesterday's news in a series of spinoffs.