An auto category that was down 53% as well as lower political and Web revenue lead the drop. Retrans money totaled $11.4 million and the company says it expects that will grow to $41 million by year’s end.
Belo Corp., one of the nation’s largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, today reported total revenues decreased 23 percent in the second quarter of 2009 versus the second quarter of 2008, falling from $189 million last year to $145 million in this years second quarter.
Total spot revenue, including political, was down 28 percent, with 27 percent and 29 percent decreases in local and national spot, respectively.
Second quarter 2009 revenues were affected by the soft advertising environment, particularly in the automotive category which was down 53 percent compared to the second quarter of 2008.
Political revenues in the second quarter of 2009 were $1.8 million lower than the second quarter of 2008.
Advertising revenue associated with Belo’s Web sites decreased 5.1 percent to $7.1 million in the second quarter of 2009, representing almost 5 percent of Belo’s total revenue.
Retransmission revenue totaled $11.4 million in the second quarter of 2009 and represents almost 8 percent of the company’s total revenue. The company expects to achieve approximately $41 million in full year 2009 retransmission revenue.
Total station expenses decreased 12 percent in the second quarter of 2009 versus the same period last year due primarily to the continued implementation of cost-saving measures.
Station EBITDA in the second quarter of 2009 was down 39 percent versus the prior year. The station EBITDA margin for the second quarter of 2009 was 35 percent compared to 43 percent in the second quarter of 2008.
Belo posted net earnings per share of $0.10 in the second quarter of 2009, in line with analysts’ estimates, compared to net earnings per share of $0.25 in the second quarter of 2008.
Dunia A. Shive, Belo’s president and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The company’s second quarter total revenue decline of 23 percent was very similar to the decline experienced in the first quarter as the soft advertising environment continued, especially in the company’s larger markets. However, we did see an uptick in sales activity in June that has also carried into July.
“Excluding spin-off related charges in the second quarter of 2008 and non-cash pension expense, Belo’s previously announced cost-saving measures led to a reduction in combined station and corporate operating costs of 13 percent in the second quarter of 2009.”