A. H. Belo, which publishes the Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal and other papers, today announced a first-quarter loss of $9.1 million, a better result than the $100.7 million lost in the first quarter of 2009.
Chairman and CEO Robert W. Decherd said in a statement that the company’s year-over-year revenue decline of 9.9% to $115.8 million was the slowest rate of decline seen in two years. He said that ad revenue was close to what the company had expected, and that circulation revenue rose 12% from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010.
The Providence Journal had the slowest rate of revenue declines, followed by The Dallas Morning News and The Press-Enterprise.
Reduced operating costs — down 46% to $123 million — contributed to the narrowed loss.
• Total salaries, wages and employee benefits fell 11%
• Production, distribution and operating costs fell 18%
• Newsprint, ink and other supply sosts fell 42%
• The company recorded an asset impairment charge of $80.9 million in the first quarter of 2009, vs. no impairment charge in 2010