The E.W. Scripps Company announced Thursday it has retained Kalil & Company to find buyers for its 34 radio stations in a restructuring. The stations have been underperforming, according to Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker. And, Scripps wants to use the money to purchase more TV stations, according to Cincinnati Business Insider, which also says Scripps has already cut 50 jobs with 50 more on the way.
Back in 2014, Scripps merged with Journal Communications, picking up Journal’s 35 radio stations and spinning off its newspaper business.
Scripps says it is “creating a stronger, more streamlined and higher-performing company through comprehensive restructuring and cost reductions expected to yield more than $30 million in annual cost savings.”
During third-quarter 2017, the company began its restructuring work with a $2.4 million restructuring charge. The company will take a restructuring charge of $2 million in the fourth quarter, estimates a $4 million charge in the first quarter, and expects to take smaller quarterly charges into 2019.
The Scripps radio stations are located in Boise, Knoxville, Milwaukee, Omaha, Springfield, MO., Tucson, Tulsa, and Wichita. Scripps also owns 33 television stations.
Scripps CEO Adam Symson said, “This plan is consistent with our goal to create both short-term and long-term value by improving margins and cash flow in our local media business and supporting the growth of our national businesses. Our restructuring analysis also led us to determine the time is right to find a new owner for our radio group that can provide the focus and resources the stations and their creative, devoted employees deserve.”