Updated from 10:49 a.m. ESTShares of E.W. Scripps ( SSP) tumbled Tuesday after the media conglomerate offered a weak earnings forecast for its first quarter and after its CEO doused speculation it might deal its beleaguered newspaper businesses. For the fourth quarter, the company swung to a profit and topped analysts' estimates. Still, its shares recently were down $3.23, or 6.2%, to $48.93. The drop was spurred in part by Scripps' forecast for first-quarter earnings of 39 cents to 43 cents a share. Analysts, on average, projected earnings of 52 cents a share, according to estimates reported by Thomson Financial. Also, on a conference call with analysts following the release, CEO Kenneth Lowe said there were "no plans in the near future" to sell Scripps' newspaper assets. Speculation heated up on Wall Street about such a move in early January when Joseph NeCastro, Scripps chief financial officer, signaled to investors at a Citigroup conference that the media conglomerate was considering a move to ditch its newspaper businesses. "Newspapers seem to be much more troubled, and it is hard to call a bottom there," NeCastro said at the time. He said the company's management has been meeting with its board about "options for the newspaper side," adding that separating its other media properties from the newspapers is "clearly the most advantageous route" for the company.