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AH Belo Chairman Decherd: Spin-Off 'Right Decision' for Shareholders

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

AH Belo Chairman Decherd: Spin-Off 'Right Decision' for Shareholders

Article excerpt

Despite reporting a loss for its first quarter as a separate company -- and with its stock down 38% since its Feb. 11 launch -- spinning off A.H. Belo from Belo Corp. was the "right decision for shareholders of both companies," A.H. Belo Chairman and CEO Robert Decherd told analysts in a conference call Monday.

Decherd said the company -- consisting of The Dallas Morning News, three dailies, and their Web sites and niche products -- is growing readership and added $18.5 million in cash to the balance sheet since the start of the year, in spite of "the worst newspaper economy in decades."

First-quarter results were pulled down by the brutal California newspaper market. Ad revenue at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside plunged 25.6%, A.H. Belo said.

The general economy is A.H. Belo's biggest challenge, according to Decherd. "The Dallas Morning News is performing as well as or better than almost any paper in the country, but it's down 9% on the revenue side," he said, noting the flagship paper generates 65% of A. …

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