US Media Group to Split TV and Newspapers

03 October 2007

DALLAS: US media group Belo has bowed to investor pressure and plans to separate its print and broadcast television assets.

The lagging newspaper business has seen its second quarter revenue slip 8.5% as a result of migration by advertisers and readers to online news sources.

In contrast, the TV unit's Q2 revenue rose 2.5%. If the split gains regulatory approval Belo will own 20 TV stations reaching 14% of US households in markets including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Seattle, with sales of $750 million (€530m; £367m).

The publishing company, to be known as AH Belo, owns the Dallas Morning News together with smaller daily and weekly papers and a collection of online businesses.

Comments Belo ceo Robert Decherd, who would head the newspaper spin-off: "The whole story line here is that the valuations in these two sectors have diverged dramatically in recent years."

He believes separate companies would respond more quickly to the demands of the market and would appeal to distinct groups of investors.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff