Belo Corp.'s total advertising spot revenue climbed 15% in fourth-quarter 2012, with total revenue at $205 million for the period, up 14%. Much of the
growing ad gains came from political revenue, which was $32.4 million. Net income rose to $35 million during the period, up from $30.5 million.
The downside was that much of the political advertising pushed out core, non-political advertising business -- a 3% reduction, which consisted of a 4% decline in local spot and 1% drop in national spot advertising.
Belo said there were double-digit percentage increases in both growing retran and Internet business. When including barter and trade advertising, this revenue group witnessed a 8% climb.
For the full 2012 year -- including political -- advertising revenue was up 10% versus 2011. Taking out political advertising, core advertising inched up 0.4% -- coming from a 1.5% increase in local spot revenue and a 1.5% decrease in national spot revenue compared to 2011. Political revenue totaled $61.2 million in 2012, $51.6 million higher than 2011.
Dunia A. Shive, president and CEO of Belo Corp, stated: “The company’s fourth-quarter performance was driven by $26.5 million in incremental political revenue and continued strength in the automotive category, leading to a total spot revenue increase of 15%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2011."
Estimating first-quarter 2013 activity, she said: "Based on recent pacings, we currently estimate total revenue to be up 2% to 2.5% versus the first quarter of 2012, with increases in core spot, retransmission and Internet revenue partially offset by lower political revenue."