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O'Reilly Paddles Furiously in Dallas Teacup

Reported by Marie Therese - October 20, 2005

This is getting ridiculous. Why has Bill O'Reilly decided at this particular time to make a big stink about a few sentences in a column in the Dallas Morning News, written by opinion columnist Macarena Hernandez? I've read her column and Ms. Hernandez's commentary is tame and completely within the realm of "opinion." She is not a news reporter. She is an "opinion columnist." Last night on the Factor O'Reilly devoted his Talking Points Memo and half his segment with Geraldo Rivera to bashing Hernandez and the Morning News and once again asked his viewers to cancel their subscriptions. What gives here? Why would the Bloviating Billster, with the overt assistance of FOX radio affiliate KLIF, stir up this tempest in teapot?

The Dallas Morning News is owned by Belo Corporation, "a media company that engages in television broadcasting, newspaper publishing, cable news and interactive media operations in the United States." Belo has experienced downturns in its newspaper business (as have virtually ALL newsdpapers across the country). In fact, just today it made an earnings conference call and newspaper profits are up.

Here is what bizjournals.com had to say today (10-20-05):

Belo Corp., the parent company of KENS 5 TV in San Antonio, said Thursday the media company's advertising revenues rose 4.4 percent for the quarter due, in part, to higher newspaper subscriptions.

Dallas-based Belo (NYSE: BLC - News) reported net income of $22.1 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, on revenues of $372.3 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2005.

This compares to net income of $11.2 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, on revenues of $356.4 million for the third quarter of 2004.

Revenues for Belo's television group, which includes KENS 5, fell 6.6 percent for the quarter. The company's newspaper group revenues rose 16 percent for the quarter.

The company estimated earnings per share are down 4 cents due to the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita on its CBS affiliates WWL-TV in New Orleans and KHOU-TV in Houston.

COMMENT

Wonder if O'Reilly will continue this rant tonight or will he move on to greener pastures?

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