Vol XIl, Issue 13 TNG/CWA Local 31041 February 9, 2001

Belo Reports 'Top-Tier Revenue Growth Rates'
The Belo Corp today reported growth in cash flow and earnings per share for 2000, going so far as to state in a press release that "fourth quarter television group and publishing revenue growth rates represent top-tier performance."

While the rate of growth may be good relative to other media corporations, earnings as expressed in dollars per share were down, from $1.50 in 1999 to $1.29 in 2000.

The biggest gainer last years was Belo's broadcast division, due in large part to advertising related to the election and Olympics. The newspaper division realized healthy gains too.

The big loser was Belo Interactive -- the corporation's online ventures. While online revenues were up 44 percent over the previous year, cash flow was reported at minus 198 percent as Belo Interactive burned through $24 million more than it took in.

Status report

Negotiations: The Guild has contacted Paul Chabot, the federal mediator, asking for a return to the bargaining table. The Guild proposed four dates in February for a meeting, and the mediator is trying to find a time when all parties are available.

NLRB charges: A hearing on the company's 20 violations of federal labor law is scheduled to start April 2.

Listserv: Sixty-one people are now members of the Guild's lively on-line discussion group. If your dues are paid in full and you have access to non-company e-mail, you can join the listserv by e-mailing Tony DePaul at tonydepaul@aol.com. Include your phone number.

Upcoming events: Guild Follies, Feb. 23. Only about 100 tickets are left, so order now by calling the Guild office at 421-9466.

Things were rosier at the Journal, which saw a 4 percent increase in revenue during 2000, according to the report. This came despite a drop in advertising lineage during the third quarter, compared to the same period the year before. (Overall publishing division revenue and cash flow were up 6.5 percent.)

According to Journal advertising sales representatives, 1999 was a great advertising year for the Journal, reflecting the hot pace of the economy.

The frenetic pace of advertising sales continued through late summer, but ended as the economy began to slow. According to monthly reports provided by Belo, year-to-date ad linage as of November was about even with the prior year, even though September, October and November were down 4.3%, 15.2%, and 11.3% respectively

As for the future, Belo is betting on a quick economic recovery and the strength of its newspapers to keep money rolling in. The report states: "Provided advertising spending rebounds in the second quarter. We believe that Belo can grow revenues and operating cash flow for full year 2001, with better prospects for growth in publishing than broadcast because of the tremendous political and Olympic dollars realized in 2000."

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TNG/CWA Local 31041
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