March 25, 2003
Belo's monthly Revenue and Statistical Report Feb 2003
Dallas, TX --Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC) issued today its statistical report for the month of February. Television Group spot revenue decreased 5.8 percent for the month of February with a 5.1 percent decrease in total revenue. Newspaper Group advertising revenue increased 1.7 percent with a 1.3 percent increase in total revenue.
The Company continues to build competitive advantage in its markets, positioning it to respond effectively to the uncertainties currently overshadowing the economy and financial markets and to capitalize on a continued advertising recovery. Belo's television stations performed well in the February 2003 Nielsen ratings, improving on their already strong leadership positions. Despite the prime-time performance of the ABC network, all of Belo's ABC stations improved their February ratings compared to the prior year and two moved from a No. 2 sign-on to sign-off position to the No. 1 position, making all four Belo ABC affiliates No. 1 sign-on to sign-off.
In St. Louis, Belo's KMOV-TV achieved its highest 10 p.m. news rating of any Nielsen report in a decade, finishing in the No. 1 position in this important daypart for the first time. KMOV had the highest-rated 10 p.m. newscast in a metered market in the United States. In the Newspaper Group, all three of Belo's major newspapers expect to report circulation gains both daily and Sunday for the six months ending March 31, 2003 as they did in September 2002.
February Newspaper Linage
At The Dallas Morning News, total advertising revenue decreased slightly in February, with a decrease in total full-run advertising linage of 8.0 percent, including preprints and supplements. Retail full-run ROP revenue was up 0.5 percent with a 0.9 percent decrease in full-run ROP volume. Increases in the computer and professional services categories were partially offset by a decrease in the general merchandise category.
Decreases in telecom, technology and travel led to a decrease in general full-run ROP revenue of 19.3 percent. In February of 2002, The Morning News received a significant amount of advertising related to the Hewlett Packard/Compaq merger that did not repeat in February of 2003. General full-run ROP volume decreased 14.6 percent.
Classified revenue was down less than one percent with a 1.8 percent decrease in volume. Help wanted volumes were down about 18 percent in February on a comparable basis with a decrease in classified employment revenue of 24 percent. Classified automotive revenue was up 8.4 percent and classified real estate revenue increased 12.2 percent. Preprints and TMC revenue increased 8.6 percent over last year.
At The Providence Journal, total full-run advertising linage, including preprints and supplements, decreased 5.8 percent, and total full-run ROP decreased 4.5 percent. Retail, general and classified volumes, including preprints, were down 2.0 percent, 24.7 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.
At The Press-Enterprise, total full-run advertising linage, including preprints and supplements, decreased 1.6 percent, while total full-run ROP was down 6.4 percent. Retail and classified volumes, including preprints, decreased 2.0 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. General volume increased 9.3 percent.
Belo is one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,800 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates news and information franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic region. Belo owns 19 television stations (six in the top 16 markets) reaching 13.7 percent of U.S. television households; owns or operates six cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo publishes four daily newspapers: The DallasMorning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). Belo Interactive's new media businesses include 34 Web sites, several interactive alliances, and a broad range of Internet-based products. For more information, contact Carey Hendrickson, vice president of investor relations, at 214-977-6606. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com.
Statements in this communication concerning the Company's business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, capital expenditures, investments, commitments, or other financial or operating items and other statements that are not historical facts, are "forward-looking statements" as the term is defined under applicable Federal Securities Laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements.
Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to, changes in advertising demand, interest rates and newsprint prices; technological changes; development of Internet commerce; industry cycles; changes in pricing or other actions by competitors and suppliers; regulatory changes; the effects of Company acquisitions and dispositions; general economic conditions; and the armed conflict in Iraq or other significant armed conflict, as well as other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the Annual Report on Form 10-K.
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