Skip to comments.A.H. Belo's (Dallas Morning News) First Quarter Result is Loss (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 04/28/2008 4:37:32 PM PDT by abb
A.H. Belo Corp., the newspaper pure play spun off from Dallas-based Belo Corp., reported its first quarterly result was a loss of $8.7 million, or 43 cents a share, on revenues that tumbled 8.8% to $160.2 million.
Advertising revenue, including print and Internet revenue, fell 12% in the quarter compared to a year ago.
The chain was particularly hard hit at its major California property, where ad revenue for The Press-Enterprise in Riverside plummeted 26%.
A.H. Belo said its newspaper margin -- measured by EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) -- fell by 5 percentage points to 9%.
Internet revenue of $12 million accounted for 7.5% of A.H. Belo's total revenues.
Circulation revenue was up 5.4% in the quarter, on a 12% rise at the flagship Dallas Morning News.
Total newspaper expense decreased by $5.3 million or 3.5% in the quarter, including a $2.9 million drop in newsprint expense, most of which came from a decrease in usage.
In its general financial guidance for the remainder of the year, A.H. Belo said it expects to see a continuing decline in ad revenue for 2008, with the Press-Enterprise seeing the biggest reductions.
"A. H. Belo is navigating through a challenging operating environment, but I am confident about the quality of our markets long-term, the strengths of AHC's brands, and our ability to continue to transform AHC in an Internet-centric media world," Chairman, President, and CEO Robert W. Decherd said in a statement.
AH Belo Chairman Decherd: Spin-Off ‘Right Decision’ For Shareholders
By Mark Fitzgerald
Published: April 28, 2008 5:40 PM ET
CHICAGO Despite reporting a loss for its first quarter as a separate company — and with its stock down 38% since its Feb. 11 launch — spinning off A.H. Belo from Belo Corp. was the “right decision for shareholders of both companies,” A.H. Belo Chairman and CEO Robert Decherd told analysts in a conference call Monday.
Decherd said the company — consisting of The Dallas Morning News, three dailies, and their Web sites and niche products — is growing readership and added $18.5 million in cash to the balance sheet since the start of the year, in spite of “the worst newspaper economy in decades.”
First-quarter results were pulled down by the brutal California newspaper market. Ad revenue at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside plunged 25.6%, A.H. Belo said.
The general economy is A.H. Belo’s biggest challenge, according to Decherd. “The Dallas Morning News is performing as well as or better than almost any paper in the country, but it’s down 9% on the revenue side,” he said, noting the flagship paper generates 65% of A.H. Belo’s revenues.
In a recent letter to shareholders, Decherd said that he expects revenue results to be poor in the second quarter of the year. On Monday, he suggested the papers are likely to look bad when the next Audit Bureau of Circulations FAS-FAX arrives in the fall.
“We’ll probably get some bad press relative to our peers because we’re eliminating bonus days,” he said. “Other newspapers are taking them out gradually. We’re just going to do it. Advertisers really place no value on bonus days, and thankfully there’s no real revenue impact. It may get a little negative press, but we’re used to that.”
Bonus days occur when home with a limited subscription are delivered a paper on a day they would not normally get one. The chain has also eliminated third-party sales.
A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC) stock closed Monday at $10.21, up 6 cents, or 0.59%.
Mark Fitzgerald (email@example.com) is E&P’s editor-at-large.
"We don't suck as bad as everyone else"
I have got to have my reading material during my work lunch break.
Seems like more and more of the DMN's stories are from wire reports... not many national exclusives.
Oh well... I'm most interested in the "Metro" and "Sports Day" sections these days... always fun to read the "gossip" of Collin county/local politics in the "Metro" section and to read about my Texas A&M Aggies in the "Sports Day" section.
Some particularly big declines occurred among big newspapers below the top 10 ranking, including the Boston Globe (down 8.3%), which is owned by New York Times Co.; Cox Enterprises Inc.'s Atlanta Journal-Constitution (down 8.5%) and Advance Publications Inc.'s Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., which lost 7.4%.
A.H. Belo Corp.'s Dallas Morning News experienced the biggest percentage drop among the top 25 newspapers, losing 43,607 weekday subscribers, about 11% of its weekday circulation, compared with the year-ago report. The Morning News said last year that its efforts to reduce bulk circulation -- free copies sent to hotels and airports -- as well as a smaller delivery zone, would cause it to lose circulation at a faster rate for a year.
Yeah - the liberal rag stopped giving away its newspapers that nobody wanted in the first place so its "circulation" went down. I believe the DMN was in legal troubles before for circulation issues.
It costs a little more per month than paper, but for 40 bucks a month you can have unlimited internet access on a PDA phone and freep and news serf wherever you are.
At a resturaunt? Freep.
Waiting in long line at a store?Freep.
Getting your brakes done? Freep.
Plus when you reach that age, backlit resizable text eliminates the need for bifocals.
bump. They cut it loose for a reason