Belo Clocks $35 Million in 4Q Political Revenue
DALLAS: Belo is on track to
log $55 million in political revenues for the year, the station group’s chief
said at today’s UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference.
“Our strong financial performance has continued in the fourth quarter of 2010 on
the strength of more than $35 million in political revenue. We currently expect
political revenue to finish above $55 million for the full year. Based on current
pacing trends, we expect total spot revenue to increase about 21 percent compared
to the fourth quarter of 2009, which is up from our previous guidance,” Belo
chief Dunia A. Shive said. “For the full year, we expect total spot revenue to be
up about 18 percent. Also for full year, we currently expect total spot revenue
excluding political to be up more than 9 percent.”
Shive confirmed previous guidance regarding 4Q10 operating costs, expected to
rise 12 to 13 percent. Excluding special items, the increase is expected to be
less than 5 percent. For the full year, combined station and corporate operating
costs are expected to be up around 6 percent compared to 2009.
“We currently expect to reduce debt by another $40 million in the fourth quarter
of 2010, which would result in full-year debt reduction of approximately $120 million,”
Looking at 2011, Shive said, “We currently expect to see continued moderate recovery
in advertising as long as the economy does not experience any unexpected setback.
We expect spot revenue excluding political to grow in 2011, but at a more moderate
rate than in 2010.
“We expect combined station and corporate operating costs to grow at a low-to-mid
single digit rate in 2011. There will be fluctuations in our expense variance quarter-to-quarter
due to Nextel credits in the first half of 2010 and syndicated programming expense
savings related to the Oprah show in the fall of 2011.
“Capital expenditures in 2011 are expected to be $15 million to $16 million. Interest
expense is expected to be around $72 million 2011. The company’s effective tax rate
for 2011 is expected to be around 41 percent, a little higher than normal because
of the non-cash charge related to the split of the company’s pension plan, which
was announced in October. Belo’s pension contributions for full year 2011 are currently
expected to be around $16 million.”