There was all sorts of news in Monday’s earnings report from the parent of Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper. That most of it wasn’t good — like a $12 million ad revenue decline — didn’t seem to bother the bosses.

What was even more intriguing was the announcement that The News plans to launch neighborhood-focused web sites. This is shocking news for any number of reasons. First, the paper has traditionally cared very little about the city’s neighborhoods, and its local coverage has always been anchored by people who preferred to live elsewhere.

Second, given the horrible numbers in the earnings statement, it appears that the bosses in the Belo building see local web sites as part of the solution to their financial woes. Which made me giggle.

One reason why I haven’t been around much in the past year or so is that I have been off earning a living. I haven’t had as much time as I would like to write for the blog because the recession has forced me to focus on my freelance business. And, frankly, despite the Advocate’s outstanding track record over the past 21 years, we’ve faced the same problems as almost everyone else has with making money off on-line content. It’s really hard to do. Even with five neighborhood-focused web sites.

The News being The News, they’ll ignore this comment. Because anyone who could look at those earning results and profess to be “very satisified” isn’t living in the same universe with the rest of us.

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