Belo Corp Revenue Increases in Time of Media Downfall
Published: Friday, November 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
They’re scrounging for any last thread of life, fighting for a spot amidst an unfamiliar world of social media and apps, and grasping on to any tidbit of technology that might just keep them afloat until they figure out what to do in the long term. Media companies are struggling. Belo Corp, however, managed to profit in 2012 despite the digital dilemma.
“The object is of course revenue enhancement, which all media companies are seeking,” said Tony Pederson, Belo Distinguished Chair of Journalism at SMU and former editor of The Houston Chronicle.
In its first half of the year, Belo Corp. made happy shareholders sending 2012’s earnings per share from 13 cents in 2011 to 38 cents in 2012. Its net worth went up from 267.2 million in 2011 to 296.7 million in 2012.
“This is a good company,” Matthew Alexander, a political science major at SMU, said. “They’re surviving, and not only surviving, but turning a profit.”
Alexander has been watching the news more often lately due to Presidential coverage and said, “The station here in Dallas, Channel 8, is excellent, so their quality of news is there.”
Presidential elections bring more advertising. For a TV station, those are the majority of revenues. Figuring out an ever-advancing advertising platform is another difficulty media outlets are having. Belo Corp has been known to make mistakes in what new technologies it purchased in the past. The millions of dollars invested in Cuecat in 2001 was later criticized after Cuecat was later referred to on PC World Magazine’s “Top 25 worst tech products of all time.”
On Sept. 27 Belo Corp announced the launch of a new, completely digital, advertising campaign. Belo Private Ad Marketplace connects select advertisers with Belo’s digital advertising across its websites.
“Belo’s Private Ad Marketplace was created to partner with select advertisers to leverage the high demand for its local sites,” Joe Weir, Belo’s vice president/Digital said in a public statement. “It also gives advertisers the opportunity to more efficiently partner directly with Belo, an award-winning producer of quality digital news and information.”
The new marketplace is set up to increase ad viewership, which is where the majority of television media and web media revenue comes from. Belo has more than 17 million online consumers and the new technology is designed to give advertisers more direct access to such viewers.
“With increasing pressures on traditional media advertising, companies are using various types of niche products and experimenting with a number of ways to connect advertisers to media vehicles,” Pederson said.
The majority of Belo’s revenue comes from television advertisements. In an election year, such advertisement revenues are up due to political advertising. Come January, those ads will have disappeared, therefore, the new marketing technique should hope to offset such a decline.
With the dawn of the digital age and the obvious near extinction of print journalism, ever changing technological advances have made the digital age a difficult platform to navigate in terms of where the media fits in.
“The whole world is going digital now, and those who haven't are missing out on a huge opportunity for extra impressions, revenue, etcetera,” Katie Roberts, an advertising major at SMU and avid new media follower, said.
It is too early to tell, but perhaps Belo Corp has come a long way since the failure of the Cuecat and Belo Private Ad Marketplace just might be the new technology this media company needs to continue holding its head above water until the next big tech thing comes out.