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Earnings: Belo Q4 Revs Down 6.8 Percent; Online Newspaper Revs Up 15 Percent

Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), whose publishing and broadcast units are now trading as separate units, reported group Q4 revenues of $407 million, down 6.8 percent from $436.6 million. The company lost $333 million in the quarter, but this was mainly due to a big, one-time impairment charge of $367 million that had previously been disclosed. Excluding the charge, the company would have earned $33.1 million ($.32 per share), down from $51.3 million ($.50 per share). Some highlights:

Publishing: Newspaper revenue fell 11 percent, as ad revenue fell 14 percent in the quarter. Online ad revenue at the newspapers’ web sites grew 15 percent.

Television: Broadcast revenue slipped 2.4 percent to $218 million, which the company attributed to lower political spending. Online revenue at the broadcasting group grew 43 percent, although no nominal figures were given out.

Updated: From its earnings call (via the transcript), some details on digital earnings for specific units:
— Online advertising revenue associated with our TV stations website increased 43% in Q4, making this the third consecutive quarter with gains over 40%.
— Online revenue for Belo’s Newspaper Group increased 15% and 20% for Q4 and full year respectively.
— Online advertising revenue for The Dallas Morning News increased 11% in Q4 and 15% in the full year.
— Belo also recently launched Highschoolgametime.com, a site focused on providing high school sports information in its local markets. For the 2007-2008 full year $1.6 million of revenue has been booked on the site.

Release | Webcast (2:00 PM ET)