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A.H. Belo posts lower profit, revenue

Profile image for By Sheryl Jean
By Sheryl Jean

DALLAS — A.H. Belo Corporation, the owner of The Dallas Morning News and the Denton Record-Chronicle, saw its profit and revenue decline in the third quarter as it continues to face lower advertising income.

Chairman, president and chief executive Jim Moroney said the Dallas-based company will continue to pursue nonprint advertising and marketing ventures, with a tweak to its strategy, to drive revenue.

A.H. Belo on Monday reported a quarterly profit from continuing operations of $2.1 million, or 9 cents per share, down from $2.6 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.

Those numbers exclude discontinued operations in Riverside, Calif.

The company sold The Press-Enterprise building there for $30 million and related printing equipment in the quarter.

This month, it plans to complete the sale of the Riverside newspaper for $28.25 million.

Total revenue fell 2 percent to $90.2 million. Advertising revenue fell 4 percent.

A.H. Belo’s digital ad revenue grew 22 percent — mainly at The Dallas Morning News. Circulation revenue fell 1 percent as higher home subscription prices didn’t fully offset sales declines.

The company also owns The Providence Journal in Rhode Island.

Last month, The Dallas Morning News replaced its online paywall with a free site and a premium, paid site because the paywall did not significantly grow digital subscribers.

“Overall, the feedback has been positive” and traffic has improved each week, Moroney said about the paid site. No numbers were available.

A.H. Belo plans to use its Riverside proceeds to expand its advertising and marketing reach, but it’s shifting away from taking minority stakes in young businesses or starting businesses, chief financial officer Alison K. Engel said.

Instead, it’s looking at controlling interests in companies with a track record and strong management in direct and outdoor marketing and businesses targeting the Latino market, officials said.

Such companies cost more, so A.H. Belo expects to top previous investments of $3 million to $5 million.