'Dallas Morning News' Parent Narrows Q3 Loss -- 27% Slump in Ad Revenue

By: Mark Fitzgerald A.H. Belo Corp. reported a third-quarter loss Friday that was narrower than its year-ago loss and included a $20 million write-down on a mothballed packaging plant at its flagship Dallas Morning News.

A.H. Belo said it lost $5.8 million in quarter, or 28 cents a share, compared to a loss of $17.3 million, or 84 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2008.

Overall revenue fell 18% to $126.9 million.

Advertising revenue, including print and Internet, plunged 27% -- with classified revenue off 40.6 percent.

Internet revenue, now 7.6% of total revenue, fell 15% to $9.7 million. But A.H. Belo noted that excluding poor classified results, Internet ad sales were up 15.6%.

Circulation revenue rose 11.6% on higher pricing at the Morning News and The Providence (R.I.) Journal.

A.H. Belo's Q3 results reflected deep cuts at its papers. Total consolidated operating expenses in the third quarter were $143.8 million, down $35.4 million, or 19.8%, from a year ago.

And without the special charges taken during both quarters, the 2009 Q3 expenses dropped 29.1%.

"The year-to-year percent decline in advertising revenue eased slightly in the third quarter when compared to the first and second quarters of 2009 due to the improved performance of The Dallas Morning News," Chairman and CEO Robert W. Decherd said in a statement. "For the third quarter, A. H. Belo successfully managed costs and increased consolidated EBITDA by $6.4 million versus the second quarter of 2009 and $22.5 million versus the third quarter of 2008."


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here