Belo’s Q4 off only slightly for TV


Despite the lack of political revenues, television group revenues were down only 2.4% in Q4 for Belo Corporation to 218 million and brand new CEO Dunia Shive noted how unusual it was that the TV division posted record revenues for 2007, despite it being an off-election year. Yesterday was the last time that the TV and newspaper groups will report earnings together and the Q4 report has lots of special charges prior to the spin-off of the company’s newspaper group, which has now been completed. For Q1, TV is pacing down in the low single digits, owing to having only one Fox affiliate airing the Super Bowl vs. five CBS affiliates last year. One analyst noted, though, that the company had said just a few weeks ago that the quarter was pacing flat. Shive said the new weakness was primarily in the Seattle market. Belo is expecting strong political revenues this year, but mostly in the second half, so it is advising investors to expect full year 2008 revenues to be up in the mid to high single digits.