A.H. Belo Releases Q2 Losses

Unlike its bigger newspaper publishing peers, Dallas-based A.H. Belo on Monday failed to report a pleasantly surprising second-quarter performance.

Instead, The Dallas Morning News parent reported its second-quarter loss more than doubled form a year ago as ad revenue dropped 30.2 percent.

Belo posted a net loss of $7.1 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $3.2 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

The 2009 Q2 loss included an impairment charge of $1.7 million or $0.10 per share related to a “customer value management system” at the Morning News, Belo said. That was partially offset by $1.1 million, or 8 cents a share, in proceeds from an insurance claim the company received in the quarter.

Belo said total revenue decreased 21.9 percent in the quarter.

The 30.2 percent fall in advertising revenue, including print and Internet, represented declines in all major categories at all of Belo’s properties. Internet revenues also fell 20.8 percent to $9.8 million.

Like its peers, Belo reported deep cuts in expenses for the second quarter. It said total consolidated operating dropped 21.1 percent for the period to $132 million.

The expense cut for Belo, however, was not enough to offset the falling revenue — unlike companies such as The McClatchy Co. and Gannett Co. that announced Q2 profits despite ad revenue that fell about by the same percentage.

Nielsen Business Media