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MIAMI: Belo Corp. chief Dunia Shive today said the company’s first quarter is shaping up better than previously expected. She delivered remarks at J.P. Morgan’s Global High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference in Florida. Belo, based in Dallas, is a pure-play broadcaster with 20 TV stations that generated a 4Q profit of 21 cents a share, beating analyst forecasts by 4 cents.

Referring to the current quarter compared to 4Q09, Shive said, “Total spot revenue was up more than 9 percent in January and will be up a greater percentage in February due to the Olympics airing on our four NBC stations and the Super Bowl airing on our five CBS stations. On our year-end earnings call on Feb. 4, 2010, we said first-quarter spot revenue was pacing up in the low double-digits. Based on how we’re tracking today, first-quarter spot revenue is now pacing up closer to the mid-teen level. Belo’s automotive category is currently pacing up more than 40 percent in the first quarter.”

Shares of Belo (NYSE: BLC) surged more than 7 percent on the news, from around $6.80 at the opening bell to around $7.25 for most of today. Belo shares have logged a gain of nearly 33 percent year-to-date.

January 4, 2009: “Belo Finishes 4Q in the Black”

December 9, 2009: “Belo Expects 4Q to Beat Street”

November 16, 2009:Belo Completes $275 Million Offering

November 12, 2009: “Belo Offers $275 Million at 8 Percent”

November 3, 2009: “Belo Revenues Decline 18 Percent”

August 3, 2009: “Belo Reports 2Q in Line with Industry”

April 30, 2009: “Belo Reports Net Income on Bond Retirement”

March 20, 2009: “Belo Declares 2Q Dividend, Suspends the Rest”