E.W. Scripps to Split into 2 Companies


E.W. Scripps, a television broadcaster and newspaper publisher, said Tuesday it plans to split into two publicly traded companies.

The transaction, to be done via a dividend of stock in Scripps Networks Interactive, will create one business focused on national lifestyle media brands and another focused on local media franchises.

The Edward W. Scripps Trust would maintain control of both companies by electing a majority of board members for each.

The split would create Scripps Networks Interactive, which includes cable television stations HGTV and Food Network as well as online shopping services Shopzilla and uSwitch.

It also creates The E. W. Scripps Co., which would include newspapers in 17 U.S. markets; 10 broadcast television stations and the character licensing and feature syndication businesses operated by United Media.

The separation is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008.

The proposed split comes about two weeks after Belo said it will spin off its newspapers unit from its 20 television stations and their Web sites.

At that time Belo said the spin-off was triggered by major changes in the media industry, which have made print and broadcast assets a focus for divergent investor groups.