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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Newpaper Updates

Tribune: CW off to "promising start"

CHICAGO -- Newspaper publisher and broadcaster Tribune Co. on Thursday said that the new CW television network is "off to a promising start." Tribune Chairman Dennis FitzSimons told analysts during the company's third-quarter earnings call that the network, formed this fall as the WB and UPN networks were shut down, is benefiting from the ratings generated by the reality series "America's Next Top Model," which "is beating all competitors in the target demo of women 18 to 34" in the company's top three markets, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. CW shows have also helped Tribune's 16 affiliated stations have stronger ratings for their late newscasts.

New York Times profit drops 39%

CHICAGO -- New York Times Co. on Thursday said its third-quarter profit fell 39% on advertising weakness, charges related to job cuts and a loss on the sale of its investment in the Discovery Times Channel. The company also reclassified results from its television stations as "discontinued operations" now that it plans to sell them. New York Times said it earned $14 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a profit of $23.1 million, or 16 cents a share, in the prior year. The figure in the latest three months includes staff reduction costs of 3 cents a share, and the Discovery Times Channel loss also totaled 3 cents a share. Revenue fell 2.4% to $739.6 million as ad revenue dropped 4.2%. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for a profit of 12 cents a share on revenue of $786.9 million. (Corrects characterization of broadcast stations that are being sold by the company.)

Belo profit slips, charges weigh

CHICAGO - Belo Corp. on Thursday posted a decline in third-quarter profit, hurt by weakness at its newspaper group. Net income fell to $19.2 million, or 19 cents a share, from $22.1 million, or 20 cents a share. The 2006 results include 3 cents a share in severance charges, 6 cents a share related to technology initiatives, and 2 cents a share related to stock-based compensation. Net operating revenue rose to $376.4 million from $373.2 million. Analysts, on average, expected to earn 18 cents a share on revenue of $386 million, according to Thomson First Call. Consolidated revenue for September decreased 1.7%.

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