AH Belo’s second-quarter losses widen amid less ad revenue, larger accounting charges

On Wednesday July 27, 2011, 7:08 pm EDT

DALLAS (AP) — Newspaper publisher A.H. Belo Corp.’s losses grew in the second quarter as a slump in advertising worsened.

The owner of The Dallas Morning News and three other daily newspapers said Wednesday that it lost $6.8 million, or 32 cents per share, in the three months ending in June. That compared with a loss of $171,000, or a penny per share, at the same time last year.

Most of the loss stemmed from $6 million in one-time charges. Among other things, the charges accounted for expenses triggered by A.H. Belo’s withdrawal from a pension plan run by its former corporate parent, television station owner Belo Corp. The two companies split up in 2008.

The loss in last year’s comparable quarter would have been larger, if not for a $5.4 million windfall from a property sale.

Second-quarter revenue fell 6 percent from last year to $114.5 million.

The downturn reflected a 9 percent drop in ad revenue during the last quarter. That was a steeper year-over-year decline than during the first quarter when the company’s ad revenue decreased by 6 percent.

Like most newspaper publishers, A.H. Belo makes most of its money from advertising. That reliance has become a major problem during the last five years, as more advertising as shifted to free and less expensive alternatives on the Internet. The upheaval has drained about $25 billion in annual print advertising from U.S. newspapers since 2005. Newspapers have gained about $1 billion in advertising from the Internet and mobile devices during the same period.

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