Scripps sells podcasting business to SiriusXM
Television. station owner E.W. Scripps Co. is selling its podcast business Stitcher to SiriusXM for $325 million.
Scripps says that the “figure is a return of more than double Scripps’ investment in podcasting over the last five years.”
“As a result of this transaction, Scripps is improving our leverage ratio through higher company EBITDA and garnering cash we can use toward debt reduction, which continues to be our highest priority,” stated Scripps executive vice president-CFO Lisa Knutson.
The Stitcher company includes three podcast business lines, including Midroll ad sales firm, owned-and-operated podcast networks that produce over 50 shows and the Stitcher podcast listening platform.
As per the Interactive Advertising Bureau, podcast advertising revenue increased 42% to nearly $679 million in 2019, and is projected to surpass $1 billion by 2021.
“This sale is consistent with Scripps’ track record of growing businesses that capitalize on the evolution of consumers’ media habits and then unlocking shareholder value through spinoffs, exits and continued organic growth,” said Scripps president-CEO Adam Symson.
“We are firmly committed to our national businesses and are enthusiastic about the opportunities we see ahead in digital audio, over-the-top and over-the-air television,” he added.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.