October 30, 2014 Last Updated 9:59 am

Journal Communications brags up its TV revenue, even as it continues work to shift those properties to E.W. Scripps

The publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Journal Communications, reported Q3 earnings this morning. The company reported that its TV division had grown revenue almost 23 percent in the quarter, while publishing revenue fell 5.4 percent.

The irony is, of course, that soon Journal Communications will be transitioning its broadcast properties to The E.W. Scripps Company, while Scripps will be sending its print products to Journal Communications.

“Publishing experienced a soft quarter due to lower retail and classified spending and circulation volume declines. A publishing expense reduction initiative in the fourth quarter will create a lower expense base in the business going forward,” said Steven J. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Journal Communications.


The shift in properties between Journal Communications and Scripps is all about money. For years newspaper properties have diversified by buying radio and TV stations, lobbying Congress to allow more media consolidation and a relaxation of regulations on media companies. Newspapers have realized that to succeed, they needed to own their markets, and worked hard to fight efforts to prevent them from doing so.

But spin-offs benefit shareholders, and ultimately the executives involved. While the CEO of Journal Communications announces new cost cutting (read: layoffs) there will no doubt be personal gains to be had by the deal with Scripps. TNM eagerly awaits the annual reports from both media companies to see how well its executives have done in 2014.

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