Belo Reports Flat Ad Growth at Newspaper Group

By: E&P Staff

Belo reported today that consolidated revenue for Q2 grew 3.1% compared to the same period last year. Total operating costs at the company increased 7.5%. Belo originally projected operating costs to grow 10%.

“We made significant progress during the second quarter in transforming Belo’s businesses to compete effectively in an increasingly Internet-centric marketplace,” Robert Decherd, Belo’s chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement. “We made important announcements regarding the reallocation of human, financial, and capital resources and experienced strong growth in new products launched throughout the company as well as significant increases in Internet revenues.”

For the Newspaper Group, total revenue inched up 1% in Q2. Advertising revenue slipped less than 1%.

At the Newspaper Group, classified advertising dropped 2%. General advertising was down 2.8%. Retail declined 7.3%. Interactive revenue grew 53%. Part-run advertising related to new products launched at The Dallas Morning News increased 14%.

Expenses at the division rose 6%, three percentage points less than previous projections.

Belo expects total revenue at the Newspaper Group to advance slightly in Q3, with flat advertising revenue. Low-to-mid digit ad revenue increases are projected at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., and The Providence (R.I.) Journal. The Dallas Morning News is expected to be down slightly.

“The third quarter will be the heaviest period for one-time transaction costs related to the company’s technology and business process initiatives, which are currently estimated at $8 to $9 million, including severance,” Decherd said. “Also costs related to the voluntary severance plan at the Dallas Morning News are expected in the third quarter; however, it’s too early to provide an estimate as the Morning News is still sizing the potential impacts.”

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