Newspaper group A.H. Belo Corporation slows the bleeding


It’s been two years since year-over-year comps at A.H. Belo Corporation were under 10%, but the company only made it into single digit loss territory by a mathematical eyelash, posting a decrease in total revenue of 9.9%. This after Belo’s sister television group just reported excellent Q1 results.

Belo was able to generate an uptick in circulation revenue, but continued to see a decline in advertising income. It said overall ad revenue for both print and digital properties was down 19.2%.

Chairman/CEO Robert W. Decherd said, “Total first quarter revenue decreased 9.9% compared to the first quarter of 2009, the lowest year-to-year percent decline in two years. Advertising revenue, including print and digital revenue, was within 100 basis points of the Company’s 2010 Financial Plan for the first quarter. Circulation revenue increased 12.2% compared to the first quarter of 2009. These improvements reflect the Company’s strategy of focusing on selected audiences, creating high-quality local content and delivering valuable audiences to advertisers.”

The company owns and operates The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise of Riverside CA, and the Denton Record-Chronicle, serving Denton TX to the north of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.

RBR-TVBR observation: We honestly would like to see newspaper return to profitability, if only because it would be a sign of health for the media in general and, frankly, because we like our own local newspaper and would like it to be in robust good health. But if it’s going to continue to slide, nobody is better positioned than broadcasters to pick up a newspaper’s local advertising client list.