A. H. Belo Corporation Provides Business Update in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
DALLAS – A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC) announced today that it is taking several actions to maintain operating momentum while preserving cash and financial flexibility.
Grant Moise, president and publisher of The Dallas Morning News, said, “We have entered an economic reality where our growth in audience is not enough to offset near-term challenges in advertising revenue. While we are aggressively reducing non-compensation related expenses, that will not be enough. Base compensation for all employees is being reduced between 3 percent and 17 percent. Total compensation for senior executives may be reduced by as much as 27 percent. There will be no immediate layoffs or furloughs.
“The responsible stewardship of the Company’s balance sheet will allow us to come out of the downturn in a position of comparative strength. Our unduplicated, high-quality journalism and public engagement have never been more important.”
Katy Murray, executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer, said, “In addition to these operating actions, the Board of Directors is reducing capital expenditures to less than $1.0 million for this year, lowering director compensation by 17 percent going forward, and lowering the quarterly dividend rate to $0.04 per share from the current rate of $0.08 per share effective in the third quarter of this year. Commencing with the 2020 annual meeting of shareholders, non-employee directors will receive an annual retainer of $105,000 with no additional amounts for service as Lead Director or committee chair. The size of the Board will be reduced by two at the annual meeting, as directors Ty Miller and Nicole Small will not stand for reelection.
“In regards to the Company’s 2019 SEC quarterly and annual filings, we are pleased to have the 2019 first and second quarter amended reports on file and we expect to file the third quarter 2019 Form 10-Q by the middle of this month. On March 16, 2020, the Company availed itself of a 45-day extension to file its 2019 Form 10-K based on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s March 4, 2020 order permitting certain exemptions and extensions for COVID-19-related delays. The