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In the wake of A.H. Belo's recent announcement that it's laying off yet another 500 employees -- no later than March 28 -- the question is: How much money did The Dallas Morning News's parent company make in 2008, the first year it operated as a spin-off of Belo Corp.? The answer, revealed in this morning's press release: $637.3 million, which the company reports is a 14-percent drop from 2007 revenue. The reason:
Advertising revenue, including print and Internet revenue, decreased 19 percent, driven primarily by declines in classified revenue at The Dallas Morning News. AHC's Internet revenues accounted for 7.4 percent of total revenues for the year. Internet revenues were $47 million, 12 percent below the prior year.
A.H. Belo says it could have been worse, but last fall's layoffs resulted in reduced operating expenses. And though there was yet again a rise in newsprint prices, that particular expense likewise declined for the second year in a row -- because the paper, now $1 a day and $2 on Sundays, keeps getting smaller. As News publisher Jim Moroney told Unfair Park earlier this month, the company will likely begin charging for online content: "It's almost imperative we experiment with it to see what the consumer will respond to." This morning, A.H. Belo's stock price sits at $1.92.