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Belo Profits Tumble 27 Percent in Q1

Apr 20, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Newspaper and television station owner Belo said Thursday that its first-quarter profit tumbled 27 percent to $17.3 million, hurt in part by $4.7 million in stock-based compensation expenses booked in the quarter.

Revenue rose 6.5 percent to $372 million, driven by growth at both the television and newspaper divisions.

Dallas-based Belo’s TV operations, which include 19 network-affiliated television stations, were a major force behind the quarterly results. Thanks to strong spot advertising revenue, political advertising and a surge in online advertising, the TV group was about to post an 8 percent increase in revenue.

The company said spot advertising revenue advanced nearly 9 percent in the quarter. Excluding the company’s New Orleans station WWL-TV, which was hard hit by Hurricane Katrina last fall, the TV group’s spot ad revenue would have risen 10 percent. Political advertising reached $2.8 million in the first quarter, compared with $500,000 a year ago. Web-based advertising surged 72 percent to $4 million.