Disney 1Q profits down

The Walt Disney Co.'s media networks division posted a 58 percent decline in operating profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31, to $246 million.

The decline was due to a $363 million swing in broadcasting profits, from
$287 million to a $76 million loss in the quarter just ended.

Broadcast revenues were down 18 percent to $1.476 billion.

The cable division fared better -- revenues were up 18 percent to $1.53 billion,
while profits rose 6 percent to $322 million.

The company said the broadcast segment continued to be impacted by the soft
ad market, lower ratings at ABC and higher programming costs.

The cable gains were achieved with higher affiliate license fees (the result
of contractual rate adjustments).

Those gains were partially offset by higher programming costs and the bad ad
climate, Disney said.

Chief financial officer Thomas Staggs said the outlook for the current quarter wouldn't
be a lot different, given that the ad market is still stagnant.

The second half should be better, he added, and long-term, the company believes
it is "well positioned" to take advantage of the economic recovery when it occurs.