Belo Reports Narrow 3Q Loss

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(AP) Newspaper owner and broadcaster Belo said Wednesday it lost money in the third quarter as advertising declined, especially after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Belo lost $518,000, less than 1 cent per share, compared to a gain of $17.5 million, 15 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected a profit of 1 cent per share.

Revenue fell 17.4%, to $322.5 million from $390.4 million.

Robert W. Decherd, Belo’s chairman, president, and chief executive, said the company estimated that its television stations have lost $9 million in revenue and its newspapers $2 million since Sept. 11.

The company also increased its newsgathering expenses by $750,000, he said.

Decherd said the company’s narrow loss was better than the loss of 1 cent to 3 cents it had projected.

Last week, the company announced it would cut 160 jobs, bringing its reductions this year to about 8% of its work force. It also said it would freeze wages and capital spending for one year.

For the first nine months of the year, Belo lost $210,000, compared to a gain of $65.2 million, 55 cents per share, a year earlier. Nine-month revenues were $1.02 billion compared with $1.17 billion.

Belo owns The Dallas Morning News, three other newspapers, and 18 television stations.

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