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Cable puts Quebecor back in black

Higher revenue offsets poor publishing results

TORONTO -- Quebecor Media on Friday returned to a third-quarter profit as higher cable revenue offset poor publishing results.

Montreal-based firm posted earnings of CAN$43.9 million ($37.2 million) for the three months ending Sept. 30, compared with a loss of CAN$35.2 million in 2007.

Revenue rose 9% to CAN$908.1 million ($768.3 million), from a year-earlier CAN$834.6 million. Cable TV revenue rose 14.7% to CAN$452.6 million ($383 million), on higher basic and digital cable subscribers.

Newspaper revenue rose 4.4% to CAN$270.8 million ($229.3 million), while its operating income fell 13% to CAN$52.1 million ($44 million). And TV station revenue was flat at CAN$92.3 million ($78 million).

Quebecor Media CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau called the publishing performance "disappointing," and said that he will replace Michael Sifton as president and CEO of the Sun Media newspaper chain.

Quebecor Media owns and operates Quebec cable giant Videotron, a digital phone company, TV stations, Internet services and newspapers.