Belo made the Web a big focus in the third quarter, overhauling a number of its television station and newspaper sites including the Dallas Morning News. In the company’s earnings release, CEO Robert Decherd pointed out that the company is “making steady progress in transforming its business to compete in an increasingly internet-centric marketplace.”
He went even further in a letter to employees earlier this week saying that the company’s Web sites achieved a 50 percent revenue growth so far this year. Belo is focusing on personalization and mobile access.
There are some signs that this push is having an impact. During September, online ad revenue at the Morning News jumped 33 percent as the paper’s overall revenue slumped 8.9 percent. Online revenue at the Providence Journal soared 70 percent and 50 percent at the Press Enterprise in California, the company said.
Despite its online progress, Belo is faced with the same problems as other newspaper publishers, including declining advertising revenue, and has reacted in some of the ways ways, including slashing staff through buyouts. Net income in the third quarter was $19.2 million, or 19 cents per share, compared 22.1 million, or 20 cents a year earlier. Revenue rose 0.8 percent to $376 million. Wall Street analysts had expected profit of 18 cents on sales of $386.3 million, according to Thomson Financial.
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