Belo Reports Q3 Profits

Oct 22, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Newspaper and television station group Belo on Friday said that its third-quarter profit tumbled 64 percent, hurt by one-time charges taken in the quarter related to a circulation overstatement at the company’s flagship newspaper The Dallas Morning News, the shutting down of a cable-news venture and severance costs associated with recently announced layoffs.

The Dallas-based owner of 19 television stations reported a third-quarter profit of $11.2 million, or 10 cents a share, versus a year-earlier profit of $31.1 million, or 19 cents a share. The most-recent quarter’s results reflect the following pretax charges: $24 million related to the Dallas Morning News circulation overstatement; an $11.7 million charge in connection with Belo’s shuttering of its cable news venture with Time Warner Cable; and $5.8 million in connection with the elimination of 250 positions at the company’s Dallas newspaper and TV station.

Revenue advanced 5 percent to $374.7 million.

Belo’s television group reported a 7 percent rise in revenue, driven by a 7 percent increase in spot revenues, $12.5 million in political advertising spending and $9.7 million in ad revenue tied to NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in August.

When political advertising is excluded, Belo’s stations reported a 3 percent rise in local advertising revenue, while national advertising revenue fell 4 percent.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at the TV group rose 10 percent, while operating costs rose 4 percent. The TV group’s share of the layoff charge, which the company said came in at $652,000, was related to layoffs at the company’s ABC affiliate in Dallas, WFAA-TV.