E.W. Scripps will begin cutting jobs over the next 12 to 18 months as part of a restructuring process the company hopes will amount to more than $30 million in annual savings.
The company described the job cuts, as well as the cuts to operating expenses, as the centralization of services and technology, sharing of resources, elimination of redundant positions and services and other expense reductions. An E.W. Scripps spokesperson declined to provide details regarding how many jobs would be eliminated and from which departments.
E.W. Scripps also plans to sell its 34 radio stations. A spokesperson said the company doesn’t yet have a timeline for when the sale will occur but that the company has begun the process of finding a buyer.
The company also said it plans on “configuring a more durable TV station portfolio during this period of changing local market regulations.”
“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,” said E.W. Scripps CEO Adam Symson in a statement. “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.”
The company anticipates it will continue incurring restructuring costs in the near future. After the $2.4 million restructuring charge in the third quarter of 2017, E.W. Scripps will absorb a $2 million charge in the fourth quarter, an estimated $4 million charge in the first quarter and expects to take smaller quarterly charges into 2019.
In November, E.W. Scripps posted a third-quarter net loss of $26.7 million, down from $12.5 million in net income one year ago, due to a $35.7 million impairment charge associated with Cracked and some restructuring costs.
"In the third quarter, we began a deep analysis of our operating division and corporate cost structure, our non-core assets and the opportunities for our national content brands. We are committed to improving operating performance in our local media businesses, supporting the growth ahead with our national businesses and serving our audiences with news and information across all media platforms,” said Symson.