December 9, 2008
Television Company, Belo Corp. (BLC), Presents at UBS Global Media & Communications Conference
Dallas, Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, presented today at the UBS 36th Annual Global Media & Communications Conference. During the presentation Dunia A. Shive, Belo's president and Chief Executive Officer, provided an update on the fourth quarter of 2008 and the coming year.
Commenting on the fourth quarter of 2008, Shive said, "Based on current pacing trends, we expect total revenues to be down around 10 percent. The decline is a little greater than pacing trends indicated in our November update. Political revenues in the fourth quarter totaled $35.8 million. Year-over-year fourth quarter station expense declines should be similar to what we experienced in the second and third quarters of this year. Full year corporate operating costs, exclusive of spin-off charges, are projected to be approximately $32 million, a decrease of 21 percent from pro forma 2007 corporate operating costs."
Regarding Belo's outlook for 2009, Shive said, "The current economic climate makes it very difficult to project advertising revenues for 2009. And, with $56 million in 2008 political revenue, 2009 spot advertising revenues will be lower than 2008. We expect Internet revenues to continue to grow at a double-digit pace in 2009. Retransmission revenues should increase low double digits in 2009."
Shive also said Belo management is still working on the 2009 budget process, but expects combined station and corporate operating expenses to be lower in 2009. Capital expenditures are projected to be approximately $20 million in 2009, down from $25 million in 2008.
"Since the end of 2007, the Company has reduced its debt by approximately $70 million, including the purchase and retirement of $37 million of Belo's 2013 and 2027 bonds at a cost of less than $23 million. The Company will recognize a taxable gain on these bond repurchases and, at current borrowing rates, would realize approximately $1.7 million in interest savings in 2009 due to these transactions," concluded Shive.
The full text of the presentation and a replay of the Webcast are available on Belo's Web site on the Investor Relations page at www.belo.com.
About Belo Corp.
Belo Corp. (BLC) is one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2007 annual revenue of $777 million. The Company owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Nearly all Belo stations rank first or second in their local market. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6835.
Statements in this communication concerning Belo's business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, dividends, capital expenditures, investments, future financings, or other financial and non-financial items 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, uncertainties regarding the costs, consequences (including tax consequences) and other effects of the February 2008 distribution of the newspaper businesses and related assets of Belo; changes in capital market conditions and prospects, and other factors such as changes in advertising demand, interest rates and programming and production costs; changes in viewership patterns and demography, and actions by Nielsen; changes in the network-affiliate business model for broadcast television; technological changes, including the transition to digital television and the development of new systems to distribute television and other audio-visual content; changes in the ability to secure, and in the terms of, carriage of Belo programming on cable, satellite and other program distribution methods; development of Internet commerce; industry cycles; changes in pricing or other actions by competitors and suppliers; Federal Communications Commission and other regulatory, tax and legal changes; adoption of new accounting standards or changes in existing accounting standards by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other accounting standard-setting bodies or authorities; the effects of Company acquisitions, dispositions and co-owned ventures; general economic conditions; and significant armed conflict, as well as other risks detailed in Belo's other public disclosures and filings with the SEC including Belo's Annual Report on Form 10-K.