A.H. Belo, the Dallas-based parent of the Providence Journal, reported a preliminary fourth-quarter profit of $5.6 million today. That's compared to a fourth-quarter loss of $33.1 million in 2008. But the profit, which owes much to heavy cost-cutting, comes in the face of a 15.3 percent decline in overall revenue.
Indeed, ad revenue for print and online plummeted 23.5 percent to $91.7 million in the quarter, as the newspaper industry continues to reel. But there is a silver lining. Three of the company's four daily newspapers - the ProJo, Dallas Morning-News, and the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California - saw their lowest year-to-year drops in advertising revenue of the year.