Units become two publicly traded companies

Newspapers have never been a less sexy business proposition than they are now.

That’s the unavoidable takeaway from the bullish response Tuesday to E.W. Scripps’ separation of its cable-TV channel portfolio and newspaper group into two separate, publicly traded companies. The move follows a similar action this fall by Belo Corp.

Investors sent Scripps shares up almost 9% to $45.93 after hearing of the split.

One of the companies will be called Scripps Network Interactive, with cable assets such as HGTV, Food Network, Fine Living and DIY Network, annual revenues of $1.4 billion and 2,100 employees.

The other part will be known as the E.W. Scripps Co. and include newspapers such as the Rocky Mountain News and Memphis Commercial Appeal, plus 10 local TV stations, with $1.1 billion and about 7,100 workers.

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