With the Super Bowl on only one Fox station this year, versus five CBS stations last year, Belo reported Q1 revenues down 1% to $174.8 million. The company got a boost from political and online revenues, but not enough to offset declines in both local and national spot.
Local was down 6.4% and national 10% in Q1. Belo booked $5.1 million in political revenues, up from $4.3 million a year ago. CEO Dunia Shive proudly noted that ad revenues from video streaming on station websites jumped 200% for the quarter.
While both local and national are currently pacing better in Q2 than they did in Q1, she is expecting to see less political in Q2 and warns that the company can’t predict the quarter with certainty due to the soft economy. She is looking for stronger performance in the back half of this year, with the majority of political spending coming then, plus Belo will have the Summer Olympics on its four NBC affiliates.
Belo had $3.2 million in charges in Q1 related to its spin-off of its newspaper division into the new A.H. Belo Corp, plus a previously disclosed one-time tax charge of $18.2 million. Excluding those one-time charges, earnings per share for Q1 were 10 cents, down from 15 cents a year ago.