Belo Posts $15 Million Loss

In its first earnings report since spinning off its newspaper business, Belo Corp. logged first-quarter revenues of $174.8 million, down 2 percent from $178.3 million in the first quarter of 2007.

The company lost $15.4 million (15 cents per share) in the quarter, down from earnings of $15.5 million in the same quarter last year

Belo attributed the loss to “soft advertising conditions” and the broadcast of the Super Bowl on Fox. Belo has one Fox affiliate and five affiliates of CBS, which carried Super Bowl XLI in 2007.

“While local and national spot revenues are currently pacing better than first quarter, we can’t predict with certainty where the second quarter will finish given that economic conditions continue to be soft,” Dunia A. Shive, Belo president and CEO, said in a statement. “In addition, we had $5.1 million in political revenue in the first quarter, but expect to see less political revenue in the second quarter. As in past election cycles, we expect to see the majority of political revenue to come in the back half of the year. Operating expense increases for the remainder of the year will continue to be managed to lower levels if economic conditions do not improve.”

Belo’s stock, above $16 per share in February, dropped to below $11 per share in April.