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Scripps caters to cord-cutters by launching Newsy as a free, over-the-air network

April 6, 2021 By Rebecca McCarter

CINCINNATI The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) will soon launch its popular over-the-top (OTT) national news network Newsy over the air (OTA) as well – serving the free, growing OTA market of cord-cutting self-bundlers with Newsy’s award-winning, objective reporting.

Newsy’s distribution over the air will make it the only American news television network with ubiquitous OTT and OTA distribution.

At its launch on Oct. 1, Newsy will be available over the air in at least 80% of U.S. television homes – and in all major markets – carried primarily by Scripps-owned ION stations and select Scripps local television stations and those of other station groups.

“Amid an increasingly polarized and divided national climate, Newsy will seize upon this opportunity to serve more Americans seeking quality objective journalism,” said Scripps Networks President Lisa Knutson. “As TV viewers ‘self-bundle’ by combining free television with subscription video-on-demand services, Newsy will build on its successes in OTT by joining the other Scripps Networks in the over the air marketplace to bring these viewers high-quality, free news programming.”

Newsy empowers viewers with reporting that informs instead of influencing — providing fresh perspective, no-hype delivery and added context. The network targets a highly coveted audience of active news consumers falling into the millennial demographic, making it a natural fit for the OTA marketplace. Over-the-air viewing is experiencing rapid growth today, with digital antenna ownership up 40% from 2019 to 2020, to more than 50 million U.S. TV households, according to an October 2020 OTA usage study by Horowitz Research.

Newsy’s journalism is Emmy-nominated and has won prestigious awards including the Scripps Howard Award for Innovation, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Journalism Grand Prize Award, National Edward R. Murrow Award and Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Newsy will be headquartered in Atlanta and will have nearly a dozen bureaus across the country, including in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Denver and Phoenix. It will continue to leverage the resources of the Scripps Washington Bureau and Scripps’ local TV stations in 41 markets, creating one of the largest newsgathering forces in the U.S.

The network’s newsgathering and programming plans, under the leadership of the incoming head of news, Kate O’Brian, will be announced over the coming months.

Now carried on nearly every major streaming service, Newsy’s launch on OTA builds on its traction in the OTT marketplace, where it has shown strong audience engagement and record revenue growth.

“Scripps expects to capitalize on the growing and younger OTA audience by continuing to build a leading news brand that caters to a younger generation of active news viewers,” Knutson said. “With the launch of Newsy OTA, we lock in more valuable TV real estate for viewers to engage with our programming, allowing us to further monetize our already unparalleled ad inventory.”

Newsy is available on connected TV platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast as well as over-the-top services including Pluto TV, Xumo, Samsung TV+ and Vizio WatchFree.

Newsy, Court TV, ION, Bounce, Laff, Grit, Court TV Mystery and the forthcoming Defy TV and TrueReal make up the Scripps Networks portfolio.

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As the nation’s fourth-largest local TV broadcaster, Scripps serves communities with quality, objective local journalism and operates a portfolio of 61 stations in 41 markets. The Scripps Networks reach nearly every American through the national news outlets Court TV and Newsy and popular entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Grit, Laff and Court TV Mystery. Scripps is the nation’s largest holder of broadcast spectrum. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

Investor contact:
Carolyn Micheli, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3732, [email protected]

Media contact: Kari Wethington, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3763, [email protected]