Belo to stop monthly reports, names president

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NEW YORK -- Dallas Morning News publisher Belo Corp. said Wednesday that it will stop providing monthly revenue reports.

The company also named longtime executive Dunia Shive as its new president and chief operating officer.

Most publicly traded U.S. newspaper publishers provide monthly rundowns of company revenue, as well as advertising sales performance and circulation.

Those results have turned increasingly dim during the past several years as fewer people buy printed newspapers and take advantage of the classified ads and other kinds of advertising that they run.

Ad trends at Belo, which also publishes Rhode Island's Providence Journal as well as the Riverside Press-Enterprise in California, will appear in the company's quarterly results.

A single month's revenue performance is not a reliable indicator of quarterly advertising trends, Chief Executive Officer Robert Decherd said in a statement.

"Our interests are in informing our shareholders of meaningful financial patterns," Decherd said.

Several other publishers contacted by Reuters said they had no plans to stop releasing monthly reports. St. Louis Post-Dispatch publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. has been discussing the option, however, spokesman Dan Hayes said.

"We haven't reached a conclusion yet, but the issue is something we've been looking at for sure," he said.

Newspaper analyst John Morton of Morton Research Inc. panned the change.

"It's a way to monitor how the business is doing. When you remove that, I think it certainly doesn't promote understanding of the company," he said.

Belo also said that Donald "Skip" Cass Jr. will head the company's enterprise-wide Internet and business development activities, and that Wesley Jackson has been promoted to president and general manager of interactive media.

Along with Shive, they will be responsible for pushing Belo forward in its online operations. Many publishers are proving successful at increasing their online activities, particularly advertising on their Web sites.

Still, the Internet accounts for a far smaller share of revenue than print.

Belo shares fell 5 cents, or less than 1%, to $18.67 on the New York Stock Exchange in afternoon trading.
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