Belo (BLC) Walloped Again, Especially Newspapers

Belo’s small online advertising businesses were OK, but it can’t ditch those newspapers fast enough.  No detailed commentary on current Q4 trends other than to say performance will be similar to first nine months (i.e., wretched).

Television Group revenue increased 1.8 per cent in the third quarter, with political revenue of $3.2 million in the third quarter of 2007 versus $7.5 million in the third quarter of 2006. Total spot revenue, including political, was flat with third quarter 2006 and included a 3.9 per cent increase in local spot revenue and a 0.8 per cent increase in national spot revenue. Advertising revenue associated with Belo’s television station Web sites continued to grow at a high rate, increasing 41 per cent versus the third quarter of 2006 to $6.7 million.  Television Group segment EBITDA was up one per cent versus the prior year.

Newspaper Group total revenue decreased 7.8 per cent, reflecting soft newspaper advertising conditions and the downturn in the Southern California housing market. Decreases were noted in retail, general and classified revenues while preprint revenues were up approximately three per cent. Newspaper Group online advertising revenues grew an impressive 25 per cent to $13.9 million. Newspaper Group segment EBITDA decreased 11.7 per cent versus the prior year’s third quarter.  Release

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