Belo Total Revs Dip, Spot Sees Some Uptick

TV station groups are starting to see lower financial results -- partly due to off-year periods with no Olympics or major elections.

Dallas-based Belo Corp.'s total revenue decreased 1.9% in the first quarter of 2011 versus the previous year to $151.5 million, dipping to a net loss of $4.3 million versus a net profit of $13.5 million.

"Belo's spot revenue excluding political was up slightly in the first quarter of 2011 despite difficult comparisons to the first quarter of 2010, which included significant Olympics and Super Bowl revenue," stated Dunia A. Shive, Belo's president-CEO.

Olympics and Super Bowl revenue from the first quarter of 2010 totaled $10.7 million. Total spot revenue, excluding political, was up 0.4% with a 2.1% increase in local spot revenue and a 2.7% decrease in national spot revenue.

Much of the same lackluster activity will continue in the coming periods.

Shive said: "While pacings currently reflect a higher-percentage growth rate, we are currently estimating spot revenue excluding political to be flat to up to low-single digits in the second quarter of 2011, compared to the second quarter of 2010, due to the uncertainty surrounding auto supply in the second quarter.

"While we have not yet seen a significant change in the overall pace of our business related to ongoing events in Japan," she added, "we do expect some level of disruption in the second quarter, particularly in the automotive category."

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