Ad sales still falling faster at Projo than at sister papersMay 2nd, 2011 at 6:26 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
This afternoon’s first-quarter earnings report from A.H. Belo only mentioned The Providence Journal once – and unfortunately, it wasn’t good news.
Advertising revenue at The Journal dropped by a larger percentage than it did at the company’s other two papers, the Dallas Morning News and The Press Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., during the first three months of this year. The decline in ad sales for all three papers combined was 5.9%. In 2010, The Journal’s ad revenue fell 16%.
For the three months ended March 31, A.H. Belo posted a net loss of $6.7 million, or 31 cents a share, an improvement from a year earlier, when the company’s net loss was $9.1 million, or 44 cents a share. Total revenue fell 3% to $112.2 million – not a bad showing considering the newspaper industry’s struggles.
The company also said digital revenue at The Dallas Morning News jumped 15% in the first quarter as the paper started charging readers to access its content digitally.
The most telling part of the report may have been the announcement that A.H. Belo will start paying a dividend again – 6 cents a share. That means executives at the company are feeling comfortable enough with its cash flow to give some money back to stockholders – something they were pressed to do during their last conference call with investors.