The station operator says it was hit particularly hard by automotive, which was down 36% from the year-ago quarter. But it took in $10.6 million in retrans money, which was 7.5% of its total revenue.
Pure-play TV station operator Belo Corp. today reported third quarter revenue decreased 17.7 percent versus the third quarter of 2008.
Total spot revenue, including political, was down 21.5 percent with 15 percent and 18 percent decreases in local and national spot, respectively.
Belo said revenues were affected by the soft advertising environment, particularly in the automotive category which was down 36 percent compared to the third quarter of 2008. Political revenue of $2.1 million in the third quarter of 2009 was $9.6 million lower than the third quarter of 2008. Olympics revenue totaled $9.7 million in the third quarter of 2008.
Advertising revenue associated with Belo’s Web sites decreased 7.2 percent to $7.4 million in the third quarter of 2009.
Retransmission revenue totaled $10.6 million in the third quarter of 2009 and represented 7.5 percent of the company’s total revenue for the period.
Total station expenses decreased 11 percent in the third quarter of 2009 versus the same period last year due primarily to the continued implementation of cost-saving measures.
Dunia A. Shive, Belo’s president-CEO, said, “The company’s third quarter total revenue decline of 17.7 percent was an improvement over second quarter’s revenue decline of 23 percent, and is noteworthy given the significant political and Olympics revenue generated in the third quarter of 2008.
“Spot revenue, excluding political, declined 16 percent in the third quarter of 2009, an improvement from the 28 percent decline experienced in the second quarter of 2009. When factoring out the Olympics impact in August of 2008, monthly percentage declines in the company’s core local and national spot revenue have improved sequentially from May through October.”