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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended: December 31, 2021

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Commissions file no. 1-33741

Picture 1

DallasNews CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Texas

38-3765318

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

P. O. Box 224866, Dallas, Texas 75222-4866

(214) 977-7342

(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

Name of each exchange on which registered

Series A Common Stock, $0.01 par value

DALN

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

Series B Common Stock, $0.01 par value (Title of class)

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Act.     Yes      No 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.     Yes     No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.      Yes     No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).      Yes     No 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large Accelerated Filer:  

Accelerated Filer:  

Non-Accelerated Filer:  

Smaller Reporting Company:  

Emerging Growth Company:  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).      Yes      No 

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting stock held by nonaffiliates on June 30, 2021, based on the closing price for the registrant’s Series A Common Stock on such date as reported on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, was approximately $33,680,672.*

Shares of Common Stock outstanding at March 3, 2022: 5,352,490 shares (consisting of 4,737,580 shares of Series A Common Stock and 614,910 shares of Series B Common Stock).

* For purposes of this calculation, the market value of a share of Series B Common Stock was assumed to be the same as a share of Series A Common Stock into which it is convertible.

Documents incorporated by reference:

Selected designated portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement, relating to the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 12, 2022, are incorporated by reference into Parts II and III of this Annual Report.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K


 

DALLASNEWS CORPORATION

FORM 10-K

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Page

PART I

Item 1.

Business

PAGE 3

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

PAGE 7

Item 2.

Properties

PAGE 7

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

PAGE 8

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

PAGE 8

PART II

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

PAGE 9

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

PAGE 10

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

PAGE 19

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

PAGE 19

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

PAGE 20

PART III

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

PAGE 21

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

PAGE 21

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

PAGE 21

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

PAGE 21

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

PAGE 21

 

 

 

PART IV

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

PAGE 22

 

Signatures

PAGE 25

 

 

 

 

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (PCAOB ID Number 248)

PAGE 27

 

Consolidated Statements of Operations for the Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020

PAGE 28

 

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) for the Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020

PAGE 29

 

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2021 and 2020

PAGE 30

 

Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity for the Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020

PAGE 31

 

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020

PAGE 32

 

Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

PAGE 33

 

DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K


PART I

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K concerning DallasNews Corporation’s business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, dividends, capital expenditures, investments, dispositions, impairments, business initiatives, acquisitions, pension plan contributions and obligations, real estate sales, working capital, future financings and other financial and non-financial items that are not historical facts, including statements of the Company’s expectations relating to the reverse stock split, are “forward-looking statements” as the term is defined under applicable federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements. Such risks, trends and uncertainties are, in most instances, beyond the Company’s control, and include changes in advertising demand and other economic conditions; consumers’ tastes; newsprint prices; program costs; labor relations; cybersecurity incidents; technological obsolescence; and the current and future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that the board of directors will approve a quarterly dividend in future quarters. Forward-looking statements, which are as of the date of this filing, are not updated to reflect events or circumstances after the date of the statement.

All dollar amounts presented herein the Annual Report on Form 10-K, except share and per share amounts, are presented in thousands, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Item 1. Business

DallasNews Corporation, formerly A. H. Belo Corporation, and its subsidiaries are referred to collectively herein as “DallasNews” or the “Company.” DallasNews was formed in February 2008 through a spin-off from its former parent company and is registered on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (Nasdaq trading symbol: DALN). DallasNews is the Dallas-based holding company of The Dallas Morning News and Medium Giant. 

The Dallas Morning News is Texas' leading daily newspaper with a strong journalistic reputation, intense regional focus and close community ties. More than 12 million people a month read content published in print, online or digitally. The company has won nine Pulitzer Prizes and is the oldest continuously operated business in Texas, dating back to 1842.

In addition, the Company has a full-service agency, Medium Giant, with capabilities including strategy, creative and media management with a focus on strategic and digital marketing, and data intelligence that provide a measurable return on investment to its clients.

Business Overview

The Company’s goal is to create value for investors by being the premier provider of relevant and original local journalism in North Texas so citizens can make informed choices about their lives and the life of the communities in which they live. This commitment to excellence in journalism attracts and retains subscribers to the print edition, the digital site, and applications.

Since the Company’s spin-off in 2008, the print media industry has encountered continuous declines in revenue primarily due to the secular shift of readers and advertisers to digital platforms. The Company has sought to limit its exposure to these industry risks through greater development of its digital platforms for delivery of news and advertising, and leveraging its brand and personnel to enhance its media agency solutions. However, these improvements may not result in a sufficient increase in revenue to offset the declines the Company is experiencing in its traditional print media business.

The Company operates The Dallas Morning News (dallasnews.com), Texas’ leading newspaper and winner of nine Pulitzer Prizes, and various niche publications targeting specific audiences. These operations generate revenue from sales of advertising within the Company’s newspaper and digital platforms, subscriptions and retail sales of its newspapers, commercial printing and distribution services primarily related to national newspapers, and preprint advertising.

The Dallas Morning News’ first edition was published on October 1, 1885. The News is one of the leading metropolitan newspapers in the United States. The newspaper is distributed primarily in Dallas County and five surrounding counties. This coverage area represents one of the most populous and fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. The News has been awarded nine Pulitzer Prizes for news reporting, editorial writing and photography. The News also publishes Briefing, a newspaper distributed two days per week at no charge to nonsubscribers in select coverage areas, and Al Dia, an award-winning Spanish-language newspaper published on Wednesdays and distributed at no charge to households in select coverage areas. Unless otherwise noted, the financial and operating results of all publications are reported as The Dallas Morning News.

DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 3


Businesses producing and providing services within the print and newspaper industry have encountered significant declines in revenue as a result of increasing use of the internet for delivery of information. These businesses have been challenged to find alternative solutions to offset the loss of revenue. The majority of revenues within the newspaper industry were historically generated from display and classified advertisements followed by revenues from subscriptions and retail sales of newspapers. Revenues from subscriptions and retail sales of newspapers have experienced greater resilience as readers have been willing to pay higher prices for the product, which has substantially offset lower circulation volumes. Since the spin-off from its former parent company in 2008, the Company has faced ongoing revenue declines primarily in print advertising and expects these trends to continue.

In addition to traditional print advertising, the Company has a full-service agency, Medium Giant, with capabilities including strategy, creative and media management with a focus on strategic and digital marketing, and data intelligence that provide a measurable return on investment to its clients. Through the full-service capabilities, we are able to offer businesses comprehensive, strategic and creative marketing solutions which allow our clients to connect with their business, their brand and their audiences. The Company has aligned management and its sales teams to provide a cross-functional integrated approach to maximize the development of these businesses. Digital marketing services are provided through the following service offerings:

Multi-channel marketing solutions through subscription sales of the Company’s cloud-based software, allowing customers to manage and individualize their marketing campaigns. In addition, multi-channel marketing services are provided to customers without access to the proprietary software.

Digital and marketing analytics, search engine marketing and other marketing related services to businesses across the United States.

Social media account management and content marketing services principally for businesses in the North Texas region.

Multi-channel digital advertising and marketing services campaigns for customers, allowing them to target demographic audiences using data analytics and determine the delivery media such as email campaigns, banner impressions or video views on third-party websites.

The following describes the Company’s various revenue streams.

Advertising and Marketing Services Revenue - Advertising and marketing services revenue accounted for approximately 47 percent of total revenue for 2021. The Company has a comprehensive portfolio of print and digital advertising products, which include display, classified, preprint and digital advertising. Display revenue results from sales of advertising space within the Company’s core newspapers and niche publications to local, regional or national businesses with local operations, affiliates or resellers. Classified revenue, which includes automotive, real estate, employment, obituaries and other, results from sales of advertising space in the classified and other sections of the Company’s newspapers. Preprint revenue results from sales of preprinted advertisements or circulars inserted into the Company’s core newspapers, niche publications, and distributed to publications in other markets, or distributed by mail or third-party distributors to households in targeted areas in order to provide total market coverage for advertisers. The Company’s capabilities allow its advertisers to target preprint distribution selectively at the sub-zip code level in order to optimize coverage for the advertisers’ locations. Preprint advertising also includes other services revenue related to the Company’s niche publications.

The Company’s digital advertising and marketing services revenue consists of strategic marketing management, consulting, creative services, targeted and multi-channel (programmatic) advertising placed on third-party websites, digital sales of banner, classified and native advertisements on the Company’s news and entertainment-related websites and mobile apps, social media management, search optimization, direct mail and the sale of promotional materials.

Circulation Revenue - Circulation revenue accounted for approximately 42 percent of total revenue for 2021 and includes subscriptions and single copy sales related to the Company’s core newspapers in print and digital formats. DallasNews’ steadfast commitment to producing superior, unduplicated local journalism enables the Company’s newspapers to charge premium subscription rates. The Dallas Morning News’ goal is to maximize the amount of recurring revenue from consumers of the Company’s print and digital products. The Company continuously assesses the journalism provided to subscribers and their willingness and ability to pay higher rates by geographic area. Each year since 2008, the Company has implemented effective rate increases to select subscribers or retailers. A digital replica version of The Dallas Morning News is offered for subscribers to purchase if they prefer to consume news through a digital device in a more traditional format. DallasNews’ newspapers and the newspaper industry as a whole are challenged to maintain and grow print circulation volume. To the extent circulation volume declines cannot be offset by rate increases, the Company will realize lower circulation revenue. Circulation volume declines could also result in lower rates and volumes for advertising revenue.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 4


The Company’s news websites, including dallasnews.com and aldiadallas.com, are the leading English and Spanish news and entertainment digital platforms in the North Texas region. The news websites offer late-breaking and other up-to-date news coverage, user-generated content, advertising, e-commerce and other services. Readers can access news content across multiple digital platforms and obtain relevant local customized content and advertising. The Company’s journalists have expanded their reach and deepened their engagement with audiences by delivering news and content through social media platforms such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter, which direct traffic to the core websites. The Company’s success depends to a significant extent on its ability to develop and manage the digital business in response to the changes in consumers’ preferences and behaviors, as well as changes to advertising expenditures, as described above.

Printing, Distribution and Other Revenue - Printing, distribution and other revenue accounted for approximately 11 percent of total revenue for 2021 and includes commercial printing, distribution, and shared mail packaging services. The Company’s commercial printing and distribution services leverage the capacity of its production and distribution assets. The Company believes the incremental revenue from these services allows a greater return from the Company’s operating assets.

Commercial printing and delivery services are provided for certain national newspapers. A shared mail packaging business is operated in Phoenix, Arizona, providing mailed advertisements for business customers.

Raw Materials and Distribution

The basic material used in publishing newspapers is newsprint. The Company has a three-year Paper Supply Agreement, expiring in August 2022, with Gannett Supply Corporation (“Gannett”), a newsprint broker, which will be the Company’s sole supplier of newsprint from designated newsprint suppliers at market-based prices during the term of the agreement, except in certain specified instances. The agreement is renewable for successive one-year terms upon mutual agreement of the parties, and is terminable by either party on 180 days prior written notice. This agreement allows the Company access to multiple mills at competitive pricing. Prior to the Gannett agreement, the Company’s newsprint was obtained through a purchasing consortium. Management believes the Gannett agreement provides adequate sources of newsprint to meet the Company’s current needs. Significant increases in newsprint costs or the Company’s inability to obtain an adequate supply of newsprint in the future could adversely affect its financial condition and results of operations.

During 2021, Company operations consumed 8,405 metric tons of newsprint at an average cost of $572 per metric ton. Consumption of newsprint in 2020 was 9,781 metric tons at an average cost of $549 per metric ton.

The Company’s newspapers and other commercial print products are produced at its facility in Plano, Texas. Distribution of printed products to subscribers, retailers and newsstands is made under terms of agreements with third-party distributors. The Company believes a sufficient number of third-party distributors exist to allow uninterrupted distribution of the Company’s products. However, if third-party service providers face financial difficulties or terminate their relationship with the Company, this could adversely affect the Company’s ability to satisfy its customers or operate the business, and could affect results of operations.

Competitive Strengths and Challenges

The Company’s strengths include:

the largest news-gathering operation in North Texas

the opportunity to build valuable first-party data sets about consumers in North Texas due to the millions of unique visitors who come to the Company’s websites monthly

the ability to develop innovative new product and service offerings which leverage the Company’s brand equity, existing content, distribution platforms, technologies and relationships

the ability to provide clients with full-service agency capabilities including strategy, creative, website development, and media management which allow our clients to connect with their business, their brand and their audiences

sufficient liquidity to allow the Company to invest opportunistically in the Company’s business

an affluent and educated demographic base in its market centered around one of the fastest growing regions in the country

the ability to market print or digital products and services to large and targeted audiences at low marginal costs

a large sales force with knowledge of the marketplaces in which the Company conducts its business, and relationships with current and potential print and digital advertising clients

the ability to manage operating costs effectively according to market pressures

DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 5


The Company’s challenges include:

timely growth of revenue and profits related to the Company’s agency and digital services and digital subscriptions businesses that would provide for an offset to declines in revenue and profits related to the Company’s print advertising and print circulation

operating in a competitive environment with increased competition from other media, particularly internet-based media provided to customers at no cost

effective monetization of locally-created online content on the Company’s websites while balancing the impact of potential lower traffic volumes with an established metered-based model

In response to the decline in print revenue, the Company has developed agency and digital advertising capabilities through multiple media channels. The Company leverages its news content to improve engagement on the Company’s digital platforms that results in increased digital subscriptions and associated revenue. The Company also continues to diversify its revenue base by leveraging the available capacity of its existing assets to provide print and distribution services for newspapers and other customers requiring these services, by introducing new advertising and marketing services products, and by increasing circulation prices.

Because of declining print circulation, the Company has developed broad digital strategies designed to provide readers with multiple platforms for obtaining online access to local news. The Company continues to obtain additional key demographic data from readers, which allows the Company to provide content desired by readers and to modify marketing and distribution strategies to target and reach audiences valued by advertisers. The Company has access to programmatic digital advertising platforms that provide digital ad placement and targeting efficiencies and increases utilization of digital inventory within the Company’s websites. Additionally, in order to optimize owned & operated digital advertising revenue, the Company has adopted a holistic yield management approach powered by real-time bidding technologies and data analysis to ensure the optimal mix of direct sales and programmatic ad sales is achieved.

In addition to the general trends adversely affecting the publishing industry, the Company experienced unfavorable impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which started in the latter part of the first quarter of 2020. For further information regarding the impact of COVID-19 and actions taken by the Company in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including with respect to its employees, see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

Strategy

DallasNews is committed to producing quality journalism for its communities and providing innovative digital marketing solutions for its customers through its agency capabilities, while creating value for shareholders over the long-term through stock price appreciation and dividends. The Company continuously evaluates its operations and investments against various economic factors to determine the appropriate current strategies.

The Company is committed to maintaining the leading digital and print platforms for delivering news of the highest quality and reliability in the North Texas area, as well as creating and developing innovative print and digital marketing services capabilities that address the needs of clients and advertisers.

The Company seeks to achieve these objectives through the following strategies:

produce quality local journalism at scale, distributed through digital platforms that improve user engagement and result in increased digital subscriptions and customer retention

develop new ways to grow advertising dollars on the Company’s digital platforms

grow recurring advertising and digital marketing services revenue through a client-first approach and enhanced full-service agency capabilities

improve print revenues and increase utilization of operating assets by maintaining profitable print and distribution services to third parties

continue to align costs with revenue, maintain strong liquidity to support future business and product initiatives, and provide flexibility to meet strategic investment opportunities and other cash flow requirements


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 6


Competition

DallasNews’ newspapers, niche publications and related websites primarily serve audiences in the North Texas area. The Company competes for advertising revenue for its newspapers and websites with other print and agency companies. Advertising revenues for the Company’s newspapers and websites are responsive to circulation and traffic volumes, demographics of their subscriber bases, advertising results, rates and customer service. Advertising on digital platforms is highly competitive and largely dominated by large internet companies. As advertisers reallocate marketing expenditures from print to digital channels, the Company believes its strong local brand and its full-service agency, Medium Giant, has capabilities that will allow it to offer exclusive advertising and digital marketing solutions to local businesses on a competitive scale.

The Dallas Morning News has the highest paid print circulation in the North Texas area while competing with one other metropolitan newspaper in parts of its geographic market. Print circulation revenues are challenged primarily due to free and readily-accessible news, entertainment, advertising and other content available through the internet. This secular shift from print to digital media continues as consumer lifestyles embrace technological advancements, particularly with mobile devices, which provide access to a wide variety of digital news and advertising alternatives, including news and social media websites, online advertising networks and exchanges, online classified services, and direct email advertising. Competition for readers is primarily based on mode of delivery, quality of the Company’s journalism, price, timeliness of interaction with audiences, and customer service. News and other digital content produced by the Company’s newspapers and niche publications are available via its websites, mobile applications and through email. The Company offers competitive technology for accessing digital content on mobile devices and via personal computers. Journalists engage online readers through blogs, Twitter and other social media posts.

Seasonality

DallasNews’ advertising revenues are subject to moderate seasonality, with print and digital advertising revenue typically higher in the fourth calendar quarter of each year because of the holiday shopping season. However, print advertising revenue has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The level of print and digital advertising sales in any period may also be affected by advertisers’ decisions to increase or decrease their advertising expenditures in response to anticipated consumer demand and general economic conditions.

Employees

As of December 31, 2021, the Company had 656 employees of which approximately 19 percent were represented by a labor union, pending contract finalization. The Company is in the process of negotiating an initial collective bargaining agreement and it cannot predict the timing or the outcome of these negotiations.

Available Information

DallasNews maintains its corporate website at dallasnewscorporation.com, which makes available, free of charge, this Annual Report on Form 10-K, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, its Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports, as filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after the reports are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

Operations

Ownership

Location

Corporate and The Dallas Morning News

Leased

Dallas, Texas

Printing facilities

Owned

Plano, Texas

AHC Dallas Properties, LLC (subleased)

Leased

Denton, Texas

Former sales operations (subleased)

Leased

Dallas, Texas

Shared mail packaging office and warehouse

Leased

Phoenix, Arizona

In addition to the properties above, the Company has various leased locations it uses for news reporting and the distribution of the Company’s publications, and it leases property in Tulsa, Oklahoma used for sales operations. As of December 31, 2021, in aggregate, the Company leased facilities for current use consisting of approximately 293,000 square feet and owns property that includes land and a building consisting of approximately 1,258,000 square feet.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 7


Item 3. Legal Proceedings

A number of legal proceedings are pending against DallasNews. In the opinion of management, liabilities, if any, arising from these legal proceedings would not have a material adverse effect on DallasNews’ results of operations, liquidity or financial condition. DallasNews and its subsidiaries may be subject to litigation, including matters relating to alleged libel or defamation, governmental proceedings and investigations. Adverse determinations in any such matters could require DallasNews to make monetary payments or result in other sanctions or findings that could adversely affect the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Insurance coverage, if any, may not be adequate to cover all costs and/or losses. In some instances, the Company may have a contractual obligation from a third-party to indemnify liabilities related to litigation or governmental investigation, but if the third-party fails to indemnify us, the Company would be responsible for monetary damages.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

None.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 8


PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The Company’s authorized common equity consists of 31,250,000 shares of common stock, par value $.01 per share. The Company has two series of common stock outstanding, Series A and Series B. Shares of the two series are identical in all respects except as noted herein. Shares of Series B common stock are entitled to 10 votes per share on all matters submitted to a vote of shareholders, and shares of Series A common stock are entitled to one vote per share. Transferability of the Series B common stock is limited to family members and affiliated entities of the holder. Shares of Series B common stock are convertible at any time on a one-for-one basis into shares of Series A common stock and upon a transfer, other than as described above, shares of Series B common stock automatically convert into Series A common stock. Since June 29, 2021, the Company’s Series A common stock has been traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (Nasdaq trading symbol: DALN). Prior to that time, shares of the Company’s Series A common stock was traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE trading symbol: AHC) and began trading on February 11, 2008. There is no established public trading market for shares of Series B common stock.

The declaration of dividends is subject to the discretion of DallasNews’ board of directors. The determination as to the amount declared and its timing depends on, among other things, DallasNews’ results of operations and financial condition, capital requirements, other contractual restrictions, prospects, applicable law, general economic and business conditions and other future factors that are deemed relevant. The board of directors generally declares dividends during the quarter preceding its stated measurement and payment dates. DallasNews cannot provide any assurance that future dividends will be declared and paid due to the factors discussed in the “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The table below sets forth the high and low sales prices reported on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC for a share of the Company’s common stock and the recorded cash dividends per share declared for the past two years.

Stock Price

Dividends

High

Low

Close

Declared (1)

2021

Fourth quarter

$

7.60

$

6.28

$

7.22

$

0.16

Third quarter

7.75

6.27

6.81

0.16

Second quarter (2)

9.48

6.51

7.22

0.16

First quarter (2)

12.64

6.09

8.36

0.16

2020

Fourth quarter (2)

$

6.40

$

5.28

$

6.04

$

0.16

Third quarter (2)

7.40

5.32

5.64

0.16

Second quarter (2)

8.36

5.16

6.92

0.32

First quarter (2)

12.20

5.81

6.88

0.32

(1)Cash dividends are recorded in the period declared. This table reflects the period the dividends were paid.

(2)Stock prices and dividends declared have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the one-for-four reverse stock split effective June 8, 2021. See Note 1 – Significant Accounting Policies and Recently Issued Accounting Standards for additional information.

The closing price of the Company’s Series A common stock as reported on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on March 3, 2022, was $6.44. The approximate number of shareholders of record of the Company’s Series A and Series B common stock at the close of business on March 3, 2022, was 291 and 64, respectively.

Equity Compensation Plan Information

The information set forth under the heading “Equity Compensation Plan Information” contained in the definitive Proxy Statement for the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, to be held on May 12, 2022, is incorporated herein by reference.

Sales of Unregistered Securities

During 2021 and 2020, shares of the Company’s Series B common stock in the amounts of 2,335 and 56, respectively, were converted, on a one-for-one basis, into shares of Series A common stock. The Company did not register the issuance of these securities under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) in reliance upon the exemption under Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 9


Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

DallasNews intends for the discussion of its financial condition and results of operations that follows to provide information that will assist in understanding its financial statements, the changes in certain key items in those statements from period to period, and the primary factors that accounted for those changes, as well as how certain accounting principles, policies and estimates affect its financial statements. The following information should be read in conjunction with the Company’s consolidated financial statements and related notes filed as part of this report. All dollar amounts presented herein, except share and per share amounts, are in thousands, unless the context indicates otherwise.

This section and other parts of this Annual Report on Form 10-K contain certain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements. See the Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements of this Annual Report for further discussion.

OVERVIEW

DallasNews Corporation, formerly A. H. Belo Corporation, and its subsidiaries are referred to collectively herein as “DallasNews” or the “Company.” DallasNews was formed in February 2008 through a spin-off from its former parent company and is registered on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (Nasdaq trading symbol: DALN). DallasNews is the Dallas-based holding company of The Dallas Morning News and Medium Giant. 

The Company operates The Dallas Morning News (dallasnews.com), Texas’ leading newspaper and winner of nine Pulitzer Prizes, and various niche publications targeting specific audiences. These operations generate revenue from sales of advertising within the Company’s newspaper and digital platforms, subscriptions and retail sales of its newspapers, commercial printing and distribution services primarily related to national newspapers, and preprint advertising.

In addition, the Company has a full-service agency, Medium Giant, with capabilities including strategy, creative and media management with a focus on strategic and digital marketing, and data intelligence that provide a measurable return on investment to its clients.

The Company transferred its stock exchange listing from the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) to The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) and changed its corporate name to DallasNews Corporation. The listing and trading of the Company’s Series A common stock on the NYSE ceased trading at market close on June 28, 2021, and began trading on Nasdaq at market open on June 29, 2021, under the ticker symbol “DALN.”

On May 13, 2021, at the Company’s 2021 annual meeting of shareholders, its shareholders approved a reverse stock split at a ratio of not less than one-for-three and not more than one-for-five, with the exact ratio to be determined by the Company’s board of directors. Following the annual meeting, the Company’s board of directors approved a one-for-four reverse stock split of its issued, outstanding and treasury shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, which became effective June 8, 2021. As a result, every four shares of the Company’s issued and outstanding Series A common stock and Series B common stock (and any such shares held in treasury) were converted into one share of Series A common stock and Series B common stock, respectively. All fractional shares were settled in cash on June 9, 2021, in connection with the reverse stock split. The par value of the Series A and Series B common stock were not adjusted as a result of the reverse stock split and the Company reclassified an amount equal to the reduction in the number of Company shares at par value to additional paid-in capital. All issued and outstanding Series A and Series B common stock and per share amounts in the consolidated financial statements and footnotes included herein have been retroactively adjusted to reflect this reverse stock split for all periods presented.

Beginning in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted, and may continue to impact, the Company’s customers, distribution partners, advertisers, production facilities, and third parties, and could result in additional loss of advertising revenue or supply chain disruption. Media was designated an essential business, therefore the Company’s operations have continued throughout the pandemic. The Company has been following the recommendations of local government and health authorities to minimize exposure risk for employees. Employees, including financial reporting staff, have been working remotely since March 2020. Beginning in June 2021, the Company allowed its employees to return to the office on a voluntary basis and currently expects all employees will return to the office in the first quarter of 2022. If the pandemic were to affect a significant number of the workforce employed in printing operations, the Company may experience delays or be unable to produce, print and deliver its publications and other third-party print publications on a timely basis.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 10


In April 2020, the Company implemented measures to reduce costs and preserve cash flow. These measures included reduction in the quarterly dividend rate per share, temporary decreases in employee compensation, as well as reductions in discretionary spending. In addition, the Company benefited from tax provisions permitted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) and benefited from the pension relief provisions under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARP Act”). However, these measures did not fully offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company continues to evaluate the future material impacts on its consolidated financial statements that may result from the actions taken by the Company and its customers in respect of the pandemic.

Overview of Significant Transactions

Operating results for 2021 reflect relative stability in print advertising and circulation revenue. In addition to the general trends adversely impacting the publishing industry, the Company did experience declines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic beginning late in the first quarter of 2020 and continuing into early 2021. However, the Company is beginning to see improvement in certain advertising revenue streams, as discussed below, as well as an increase in the Company’s digital-only subscriptions revenue. While the 2021 operating results reflect the recovery from the unfavorable impacts of the pandemic, the Company continues its efforts to diversify revenues through its digital platforms for delivery of news and advertising, grow its paid digital memberships and improve the member experience, and leverage its brand and personnel to enhance its media agency solutions. However, there is no guarantee the Company will be able to generate enough digital revenue or margin to offset the possible future loss of print advertising and circulation revenue and margin.

As a direct result of COVID-19 uncertainties, on April 3, 2020, the Company and Charter DMN Holdings, LP (the “Purchaser”) entered into an amendment to the two-year seller-financed promissory note of $22,400 (the “Promissory Note”), for the sale of the real estate assets previously used as the Company’s headquarters. The amendment (the “Second Promissory Note”), in the principal amount of $375, included a deferred interest payment of $195 that was due April 1, 2020, and a 2019 real property tax reconciliation payment due from the Purchaser. Subsequently, on June 29, 2021, the Company’s board of directors approved a second amendment and extension of the maturity date of the Promissory Note to June 30, 2022 (the “Second Modification Agreement”), effective June 30, 2021. In connection with the Second Modification Agreement, the Purchaser paid the Second Promissory Note in full. The unpaid, original principal balance of the Promissory Note will continue to bear interest at the rate of 4.5 percent, with interest payable quarterly through June 30, 2022, the maturity date of the Promissory Note. The Promissory Note continues to be secured by a first priority lien on the property.

In the fourth quarter of 2021 and 2020, the Company sold inactive IP addresses for $1,349 and $744, respectively.

In 2021, the Company recorded a tax benefit of $2,575 and $455 of interest income due to the release of a federal uncertain tax reserve and related interest resulting from the statute of limitations lapsing in August 2021.

During the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company performed a review of potential impairment indicators for its long-lived assets, including property, plant and equipment, and right-of-use assets. The Company determined there was no significant decrease in the market value of the long-lived assets or significant change in the extent or manner in which the asset group is being used or in its physical condition as of December 31, 2021, and there was no significant adverse change in legal factors or in the business climate during the period that could affect the value of the asset group. Based upon the review of indicators, the Company did not identify any events or changes in circumstances that indicate the carrying amount of long-lived assets may not be recoverable. See Note 3 – Leases for information on right-of-use asset impairments occurring in 2021 and 2020.

Quarterly dividends returned $3,425 and $5,139 to shareholders in 2021 and 2020, respectively. On December 2, 2021, the Company’s board of directors declared a $0.16 per share dividend to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 11, 2022, paid on March 4, 2022.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 11


RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Consolidated Results of Operations

This section contains discussion and analysis of net operating revenue, operating costs and expense and other information relevant to an understanding of results of operations for 2021 and 2020. Based on how the Company’s chief operating decision-maker makes decisions about allocating resources and assessing performance, the Company determined it has one reportable segment.

The table below sets forth the components of DallasNews’ operating loss.

Years Ended December 31,

2021

Percentage
Change

2020

Advertising and marketing services

$

73,271

1.5

%

$

72,214

Circulation

64,943

0.0

%

64,935

Printing, distribution and other

16,160

(5.8)

%

17,150

Total Net Operating Revenue

154,374

0.0

%

154,299

Total Operating Costs and Expense

164,324

(3.3)

%

169,872

Operating Loss

$

(9,950)

36.1

%

$

(15,573)

Traditionally, the Company’s primary revenues are generated from advertising within its core newspapers, niche publications and related websites and from subscription and single copy sales of its printed newspapers. As a result of competitive and economic conditions, the newspaper industry has faced a significant revenue decline over the past decade. Therefore, the Company has sought to diversify its revenues through development and investment in new product offerings, increased circulation rates and leveraging of its existing assets to offer cost efficient commercial printing and distribution services. The Company continually evaluates the overall performance of its core products to ensure existing assets are deployed adequately to maximize return.

The Company’s advertising revenue from its core newspapers continues to be adversely affected by the shift of advertiser spending to other forms of media and the increased accessibility of free online news content, as well as news content from other sources, which resulted in declines in advertising and paid print circulation volumes and revenue. Decreases in print display and classified categories are indicative of continuing trends by advertisers towards digital platforms, which are widely available from many sources. In the current environment, companies are allocating more of their advertising spending towards programmatic channels that provide digital advertising on multiple platforms with enhanced technology for targeted delivery and measurement. In addition, the Company did experience declines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic beginning late in the first quarter of 2020 and continuing into early 2021; however, the Company is beginning to see improvement in certain advertising revenue streams as discussed below, despite recent supply chain issues impacting advertisers.

In response to the decline in print revenue, the Company has developed agency capabilities, including strategy, creative and media management with a focus on strategic and digital marketing, and data intelligence that provide a measurable return on investment to its clients. The Company leverages its news content to improve engagement on the Company’s digital platforms that results in increased digital subscriptions and associated revenue. The Company also continues to diversify its revenue base by leveraging the available capacity of its existing assets to provide print and distribution services for newspapers and other customers requiring these services, by introducing new advertising and marketing services products, and by increasing circulation prices.

Because of declining print circulation, the Company has developed broad digital strategies designed to provide readers with multiple platforms for obtaining online access to local news. The Company continues to obtain additional key demographic data from readers, which allows the Company to provide content desired by readers and to modify marketing and distribution strategies to target and reach audiences valued by advertisers. The Company has access to programmatic digital advertising platforms that provide digital ad placement and targeting efficiencies and increases utilization of digital inventory within the Company’s websites. Additionally, in order to optimize owned & operated digital advertising revenue, the Company has adopted a holistic yield management approach powered by real-time bidding technologies and data analysis to ensure the optimal mix of direct sales and programmatic ad sales is achieved.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 12


Advertising and marketing services revenue

Advertising and marketing services revenue was 47.4 percent and 46.8 percent of total revenue for 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Years Ended December 31,

2021

Percentage
Change

2020

Print advertising

$

47,483

2.5

%

$

46,318

Digital advertising and marketing services

25,788

(0.4)

%

25,896

Advertising and Marketing Services

$

73,271

1.5

%

$

72,214

Print advertising

Print advertising is comprised of display, classified and preprint advertising revenue.

Display and classified print revenue primarily represents sales of advertising space within the Company’s core and niche newspapers. As advertisers continue to diversify marketing budgets to incorporate more and varied avenues of reaching consumers, traditional display and classified advertising continues to be impacted. In 2021, display and classified print advertising revenue increased $1,318, primarily due to an increase in the volume of classified advertisements and display advertisements related to sports team barter agreements that returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Preprint advertising revenue primarily reflects preprinted advertisements inserted into the Company’s core newspapers, niche publications, and distributed to publications in other markets, or distributed to non-subscribers through the mail. Preprint advertising also includes other services revenue related to the Company’s niche publications. In 2021, revenue remained flat, as volume increased in preprint newspaper inserts distributed to publications in other markets, which are beginning to recover from the unfavorable impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, offset by a decline in other services revenue.

Digital advertising and marketing services

Digital advertising and marketing services revenue consists of strategic marketing management, consulting, creative services, targeted and multi-channel (programmatic) advertising placed on third-party websites, digital sales of banner, classified and native advertisements on the Company’s news and entertainment-related websites and mobile apps, social media management, search optimization, direct mail and the sale of promotional materials. In 2021, revenue remained flat, primarily due to an increase in digital advertisements on dallasnews.com, offset by a decline in sales of promotional materials related to COVID-19.

Circulation revenue

Circulation revenue was 42.1 percent and 42.1 percent of total revenue for 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Years Ended December 31,

2021

Percentage
Change

2020

Print circulation

$

55,339

(5.3)

%

$

58,415

Digital circulation

9,604

47.3

%

6,520

Circulation

$

64,943

0.0

%

$

64,935

Print circulation

Revenue decreased in 2021, primarily driven by volume declines, partially offset by rate increases. In 2021, home delivery revenue declined $2,211 or 4.2 percent. The Company ended 2021 with 89,271 print subscriptions, a decrease of 11,494 or 11.4 percent when compared to 100,765 at the end of 2020. Single copy revenue declined $866 or 15.2 percent in 2021.

Digital circulation

Revenue increased in 2021, due to an increase in digital-only subscriptions. The Company ended 2021 with 59,471 digital-only subscriptions, an increase of 10,568 or 21.6 percent when compared to December 31, 2020, reflecting the Company’s continued focus on growing its paid digital memberships and improving the member experience.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 13


Printing, distribution and other revenue

Printing, distribution and other revenue was 10.5 percent and 11.1 percent of total revenue for 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Years Ended December 31,

2021

Percentage
Change

2020

Printing, Distribution and Other

$

16,160

(5.8)

%

$

17,150

Revenue decreased in 2021, primarily due to a decline in commercial printing and distribution revenue.

Operating Costs and Expense

The table below sets forth the components of the Company’s operating costs and expense.

Years Ended December 31,

2021

Percentage
Change

2020

Employee compensation and benefits

$

69,078

(3.8)

%

$

71,772

Other production, distribution and operating costs

81,041

1.3

%

80,008

Newsprint, ink and other supplies

9,878

(2.9)

%

10,168

Depreciation

4,002

(43.0)

%

7,016

Amortization

64

(74.9)

%

255

Loss on sale/disposal of assets, net

29

(67.8)

%

90

Asset impairments

232

(58.8)

%

563

Total Operating Costs and Expense

$

164,324

(3.3)

%

$

169,872

Employee compensation and benefits The Company continues to implement measures to optimize its workforce and evaluate strategies to reduce risk associated with future obligations for employee benefit plans. Employee compensation and benefits decreased $2,694 in 2021, primarily due to headcount reductions within the Company. Savings from headcount reductions of 87 since December 31, 2020, were partially offset by $1,423 of severance expense related to the voluntary severance offer and restoring employees’ base salaries to pre-pandemic amounts.

Other production, distribution and operating costs – Expense increased $1,033 in 2021, primarily due to an increase in advertising and promotional expense related to sports team barter agreements that returned to pre-pandemic levels. Distribution expense also increased due a higher rate and volume of preprint newspaper inserts being distributed to other markets.

Newsprint, ink and other supplies Expense decreased $290 in 2021, reflecting savings from reduced newsprint costs associated with lower circulation volumes. Competitive pricing is available under the Company’s paper supply agreement; however, the price of newsprint has been increasing. Newsprint consumption approximated 8,405 and 9,781 metric tons in 2021 and 2020, respectively, at an average cost per metric ton of $572 and $549, respectively.

Depreciation – Expense decreased $3,014 in 2021, due to a lower depreciable asset base as a higher level of in-service assets are now fully depreciated and the Company reduced capital spending.

Amortization Expense decreased in 2021, due to all intangible assets being fully amortized in the first quarter of 2021

Loss on sale/disposal of assets, net – In 2021 and 2020, the Company disposed assets that were no longer in use. From time to time, the Company will sell disposed assets, primarily production related assets.

Asset impairments – The Company subleased office space in Dallas, Texas, in the third quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2020, at a lower rate than the head lease. Accordingly right-of-use asset impairments of $232 and $461 were recorded in 2021 and 2020, respectively.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 14


Other

The table below sets forth the other components of the Company’s results of operations.

Years Ended December 31,

2021

Percentage
Change

2020

Other income, net

$

7,332

4.5

%

$

7,014

Income tax benefit

$

(2,151)

(27.5)

%

$

(1,687)

Other income, netOther income, net is primarily comprised of net periodic pension and other post-employment benefit, interest income (expense) and gain (loss) from investments. Net periodic pension and other post-employment benefit for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, was $4,141 and $4,627, respectively, resulting from a favorable return on pension assets, partially offset by a decrease in the discount rate.

In the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, the Company recorded $1,008 and $897, respectively, of interest income related to the promissory notes from the sale of the Company’s former headquarters. In addition, the Company recorded $455 of interest income in connection with the accounting for unrecognized tax positions, primarily related to the release of a federal uncertain tax reserve in the third quarter of 2021.

In the fourth quarter of 2021 and 2020, the Company sold inactive IP addresses for $1,349 and $744, respectively. In the third quarter of 2020, the Company’s shares of eSite Analytics, Inc. (“eSite”) were repurchased by eSite for $750.

Income tax benefit – A tax benefit of $(2,151) was recorded in 2021. The benefit was primarily due to the release of $2,575, included in other liabilities, for a federal uncertain tax reserve resulting from the statute of limitations lapsing in August 2021, partially offset by the effect of the Texas margin tax.

A tax benefit of $(1,687) was recorded in 2020. The benefit was primarily due to the recognition of the 2018 net operating loss carryback permitted by the CARES Act, partially offset by the effect of the Texas margin tax.

Legal proceedings – From time to time, the Company is involved in a variety of claims, lawsuits and other disputes arising in the ordinary course of business. Management routinely assesses the likelihood of adverse judgments or outcomes in these matters, as well as the ranges of probable losses to the extent losses are reasonably estimable. Accruals for contingencies are recorded when, in the judgment of management, adverse judgments or outcomes are probable and the financial impact, should an adverse outcome occur, is reasonably estimable. The determination of likely outcomes of litigation matters relates to factors that include, but are not limited to, past experience and other evidence, interpretation of relevant laws or regulations and the specifics and status of each matter. Predicting the outcome of claims and litigation and estimating related costs and financial exposure involves substantial uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary materially from estimates and accruals. In the opinion of management, liabilities, if any, arising from other currently existing claims against the Company would not have a material adverse effect on DallasNews’ results of operations, liquidity or financial condition.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 15


Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

DallasNews’ consolidated financial statements reflect the application of accounting policies that require management to make significant estimates and assumptions. The Company believes that the following are the critical accounting policies, estimates and assumptions currently affecting DallasNews’ financial position and results of operations. See the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 1 – Significant Accounting Policies and Recently Issued Accounting Standards, for additional information concerning significant accounting policies.

Revenue Recognition.   The Company’s principal sources of revenue are sales of advertising within its newspaper and digital platforms, subscription and retail sales of its newspapers, commercial printing and distribution services, primarily related to national newspapers, and preprint advertising. In addition, revenue includes strategic marketing management, consulting, creative services, targeted and multi-channel (programmatic) advertising placed on third-party websites, social media management, search optimization, direct mail and the sale of promotional materials.

Advertising and Marketing Services

Print advertising is comprised of display, classified and preprint advertising revenue. Display revenue results from sales of advertising space within the Company’s core newspapers and niche publications to local, regional or national businesses with local operations, affiliates or resellers.

Classified revenue, which includes automotive, real estate, employment, obituaries and other, results from sales of advertising space in the classified and other sections of the Company’s newspapers. Preprint revenue results from sales of preprinted advertisements or circulars inserted into the Company’s core newspapers, niche publications, and distributed to publications in other markets, or distributed by mail or third-party distributors to households in targeted areas in order to provide total market coverage for advertisers. The Company’s capabilities allow its advertisers to target preprint distribution selectively at the sub-zip code level in order to optimize coverage for the advertisers’ locations. Preprint advertising also includes other services revenue related to the Company’s niche publications.

Digital advertising and marketing services revenue consists of strategic marketing management, consulting, creative services, targeted and multi-channel (programmatic) advertising placed on third-party websites, digital sales of banner, classified and native advertisements on the Company’s news and entertainment-related websites and mobile apps, social media management, search optimization, direct mail and the sale of promotional materials.

Advertising and marketing services revenue is primarily recognized at a point in time when the ad or service is complete and delivered, based on the customers’ contract price. Barter advertising transactions are recognized at estimated fair value based on the negotiated contract price and the range of prices for similar advertising from customers unrelated to the barter transaction. The Company expenses barter costs as incurred, which is independent from the timing of revenue recognition. In addition, certain digital advertising revenue related to website access is recognized over time, based on the customers’ monthly rate.

For ads placed on certain third-party websites, the Company must evaluate and use judgment to determine whether it is acting as the principal, where revenue is reported on a gross basis, or acting as the agent, where revenue is reported on a net basis. Generally, the Company reports advertising revenue for ads placed on third-party websites on a net basis, meaning the amount recorded to revenue is the amount billed to the customer net of amounts paid to the publisher of the third-party website. The Company is acting as the agent because the publisher controls the advertising inventory. The Company will record certain arrangements gross when it has latitude in establishing price or it determines the placement of the ads as a value added service to the customer.

Circulation

Circulation revenue is generated primarily by selling home delivery, including premium publications, and digital subscriptions, as well as single copy sales to non-subscribers for which revenue is recognized at a point in time when the paper is purchased. Home delivery revenue is recognized over the subscription period based on the days of actual delivery over the total subscription days. Revenue is directly reduced for any non-payment for the grace period of home delivery subscriptions where the Company recorded revenue for newspapers delivered after a subscription expired. Digital-only subscription revenue is recognized over the subscription period based on daily or monthly access to the content in the subscription period. Payment of circulation fees is typically received in advance and deferred over the subscription period. There is little judgment required for valuation or timing of circulation revenue recognition.

Printing, Distribution and Other

Printing, distribution and other revenue is primarily generated from printing and distribution of other newspapers, as well as production of preprinted advertisements for other newspapers. Printing, distribution and other revenue is recognized at a point in time when the product or service is delivered, which requires little judgment to determine.

DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 16


Pension. The Company follows accounting guidance for single-employer defined benefit plans. Plan assets and the projected benefits obligation are measured each December 31, and the Company records as an asset or liability for the net funded position of the plans. Certain changes in actuarial valuations related to returns on plan assets and projected benefit obligations are recorded to accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) and are amortized to net periodic pension expense (benefit) over the weighted average remaining life of plan participants, to the extent the cumulative balance in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) exceeds 10 percent of the greater of the respective plan’s (a) projected benefit obligation or (b) the market-related value of the plan’s assets. Net periodic pension expense (benefit) is recognized each period by accruing interest expense on the projected benefit obligation and accruing a return on assets associated with the plan assets. Participation in and accrual of new benefits to participants has been frozen since 2007 and, accordingly, on-going service costs are not a component of net periodic pension expense (benefit). From time to time, the Company-sponsored plans may settle pension obligations with certain plan participants through the plans’ master trust as part of its de-risking strategies. The gains or losses associated with settlements of plan obligations to participants are recognized to earnings if such settlements exceed the interest component of net periodic pension cost for the year. Otherwise, such amounts are included in actuarial gains (losses) in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). Re-measurement of plan assets and liabilities upon a significant settlement or curtailment event is performed based on the values of the month-end closest to the event.

The projected benefit obligations of the DallasNews Pension Plans are estimated using the FTSE Pension Discount Curve, which is based upon a portfolio of high-quality corporate debt securities with maturities that correlate to the expected timing of estimated benefit payments to the Pension Plans’ participants. Future estimated benefit payments are discounted to their present value at the appropriate yield curve spot rate to determine the projected benefit obligation outstanding at each year end. The single equivalent discount rate as of December 31, 2021 was 2.5 percent and 2.1 percent for December 31, 2020. The significant gains and losses related to changes in the projected benefit obligation for 2021 and 2020, were primarily due to the movement in the discount rate and demographic experience.

Interest expense included in net periodic pension benefit is based on the FTSE Pension Discount Curve established at the beginning of the fiscal year. The discount rate for fiscal year 2021 and 2020 interest cost was 2.1 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

The Company assumed a 5.5 percent and 6.5 percent long-term return on the Pension Plans’ assets in 2021 and 2020, respectively. This return is based upon historical returns of similar investment pools having asset allocations consistent with the expected allocations of the DallasNews Pension Plans. Investment strategies for the Pension Plans’ assets are based upon factors such as the effective duration of the actuarial liabilities and market risks.

Recent Accounting Standards

See the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 1 - Significant Accounting Policies and Recently Issued Accounting Standards, regarding the impact of certain recent accounting pronouncements.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

The Company’s cash balances as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, were $32,439 and $42,015, respectively. The decrease in the cash balance during 2021 was primarily due to the return of capital to shareholders through dividends and the net loss from operations.

The Company intends to hold the majority of existing cash for purposes of future investment opportunities, potential return of capital to shareholders and for contingency purposes. Although revenue is expected to continue to decline in future periods, cash flows and other expense reduction measures are expected to be sufficient to fund operating activities and capital spending of approximately $1,000 in 2022.

The future approval of dividends is dependent upon available cash after considering future operating and investing requirements and cannot be guaranteed. The Company continues to have a board-authorized repurchase authority. However, the agreement to repurchase the Company’s stock expired and was not renewed.

In April 2020, the Company announced that it was taking several actions to reduce cash outflow in response to the financial impact of COVID-19. The Company reduced operating expenses, reduced capital expenditures to less than $1,000 in 2020, and lowered the quarterly dividend rate per share. In addition, employee compensation was temporary reduced Company-wide. In August 2020, the Company began to restore base salaries and by October, the Company restored base salaries prospectively for all employees, with the exception of the executive officers that report to the Chief Executive Officer. The executive officers’ base salaries were restored effective January 1, 2021.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 17


In response to COVID-19, the CARES Act was signed into law in March 2020. The CARES Act provides numerous tax provisions and other stimulus measures. The Company has benefited from the temporary five-year net operating loss carryback provision and the technical correction for qualified leasehold improvements, which changes 39-year property to 15-year property, eligible for 100 percent tax bonus depreciation. Applying the technical correction to 2018 has resulted in reporting additional tax depreciation of $1,017 and increased the 2018 net operating loss to approximately $6,829. The loss was carried back against 2014 taxes paid at the federal statutory rate of 35 percent that was previously in effect, resulting in a cash refund of $2,425, including interest, received in October 2020.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which includes the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, was passed and signed into law the last week of 2020. Among others, the provisions in this act included items such as guidance on expenses associated with forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans, business meals deductions, individual tax rebates and unemployment benefits. The Company did not avail itself of any of the items contained in this act.

In addition, the ARP Act was passed and signed into law on March 11, 2021, and was designed to speed up the United States’ economic recovery. The ARP Act contains many provisions, including direct cash payments to eligible taxpayers below specified income limits, extended unemployment insurance benefits, additional relief designed to prevent layoffs and business closures at small businesses, and pension relief provisions. The pension relief provisions include extending the interest rate relief passed in previous years, permanently adding a floor to funding interest rates, and permanently changing the amortization period for pension underfunding from 7 to 15 years. All provisions are required to be effective for plan years beginning in 2022, but plan sponsors can elect certain provisions to apply to plan years beginning as early as 2019. The Company benefited from the shortfall amortization relief provisions and the segment interest rate relief provisions contained in the ARP Act effective for the 2020 plan year.

As a direct result of COVID-19 uncertainties, on April 3, 2020, the Company and Charter DMN Holdings, LP (the “Purchaser”) entered into an amendment to the two-year seller-financed promissory note of $22,400 (the “Promissory Note”), for the sale of the real estate assets previously used as the Company’s headquarters. The amendment (the “Second Promissory Note”), in the principal amount of $375, included a deferred interest payment of $195 that was due April 1, 2020, and a 2019 real property tax reconciliation payment due from the Purchaser. Subsequently, on June 29, 2021, the Company’s board of directors approved a second amendment and extension of the maturity date of the Promissory Note to June 30, 2022 (the “Second Modification Agreement”), effective June 30, 2021. In connection with the Second Modification Agreement, the Purchaser paid the Second Promissory Note in full. The unpaid, original principal balance of the Promissory Note will continue to bear interest at the rate of 4.5 percent, with interest payable quarterly through June 30, 2022, the maturity date of the Promissory Note. The Promissory Note continues to be secured by a first priority lien on the

property.

The Company evaluated the collectability of the note as a result of the Purchaser’s request to extend the maturity date of the Promissory Note and the continuation of the pandemic. Management believes as of December 31, 2021, the Promissory Note is recoverable since the Purchaser is in compliance with the terms, is publicly indicating its intent to develop the property, and management believes that the value of the collateral has not decreased from the sale date. In addition, on January 3, 2022, the Purchaser paid the fourth quarter 2021 interest payment of $254 due under the Second Modification Agreement.

The timing in general of commercial development may have been impacted by the pandemic, and thus capital constraints in commercial real estate markets may exist. Management continues to closely monitor the collectability of the Promissory Note and the value of the underlying collateral. Continued economic and other effects of the pandemic could impact the timing of payment or realization of the note.

The following discusses the changes in cash flows by operating, investing and financing activities in 2021 and 2020.

Operating Cash Flows

Net cash used for operating activities was $5,760 and $1,490 in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Cash flows from operating activities decreased by $4,270 in 2021, when compared to the prior year period. The decrease was driven primarily by changes in working capital and other operating assets and liabilities, partially offset by an improvement in net loss, which includes the sale of IP addresses for $1,349.

Cash flows from operating activities decreased by $2,695 in 2020, when compared to the prior year period. The decrease was driven primarily by the net loss of $6,872 in 2020, and changes in working capital and other operating assets and liabilities. The 2020 net loss includes the CARES Act refund of $2,425 and the sale of IP addresses for $744.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 18


Investing Cash Flows

Net cash provided by (used for) investing activities was $(390) and $18 in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Cash flows from investing activities decreased in 2021. The cash proceeds of $375 received in the second quarter of 2021 to pay the Second Promissory Note in full, as discussed above, were offset by the cash proceeds of $750 received in 2020, from the sale of the Company’s eSite shares. Cash flows from investing activities also included $767 and $887 of capital spending in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Cash flows from investing activities increased in 2020 due to a reduction in capital spending of $1,528 and cash proceeds of $750 from the sale of the Company’s eSite shares that were repurchased by eSite in the third quarter of 2020. The Company reduced its capital spending plan for 2020 in response to the financial impact of COVID-19 as discussed above.

Financing Cash Flows

Net cash used for financing activities was $3,426 and $5,139 in 2021 and 2020, respectively, primarily attributable to dividend payments.

Financing Arrangements

None.

Contractual Obligations

As of December 31, 2021, the Company had contractual obligations, in aggregate, of $14,652 for the next five years and $17,215 thereafter, for operating leases, primarily for office space and other distribution centers, some of which include escalating lease payments. See Note 3 – Leases for future lease payments by year. In addition, the Company had expected purchase obligations of $245 related to capital expenditures.

In December 2017, AHC Dallas Properties, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, assumed a 12-year lease agreement for office space that serves as the headquarters of the Denton Record-Chronicle. In connection with the sale of Denton Publishing Company, owner of the Denton Record-Chronicle, to Denton Media Company, Inc., the Company entered into a sublease with Denton Publishing Company for a term ending on July 30, 2023. While it is anticipated that lease payments will be made on a timely basis there is not a guarantee. If Denton Publishing Company is not able to meet the obligation, the Company may look to alternative sublease arrangements.

In December 2016, the Dallas Morning News, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, entered into a 16-year lease agreement for office space for the Company’s new corporate headquarters. The Company recognizes rent expense on a straight-line basis. Per the amended lease agreement, rent payments began in November 2018.

The Company currently does not expect to make contributions to the DallasNews Pension Plans in 2022 and no contributions are required to these plans in 2022 under the applicable tax and labor laws governing pension plan funding.

On December 2, 2021, the Company’s board of directors declared a $0.16 per share dividend to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 11, 2022, paid on March 4, 2022. On March 3, 2022, the Company’s board of directors declared a $0.16 per share dividend to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 13, 2022, which is payable on June 3, 2022.

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

The consolidated financial statements, together with the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms, are included herein starting on page 27 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

None.

DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 19


Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

Disclosure controls and procedures, as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act, are controls that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Company in reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to management, including the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. In designing disclosure controls and procedures, management is required to apply its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible disclosure controls and procedures. The design of any disclosure controls and procedures is also based, in part, upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions.

The Company’s management, with the participation of its Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer, evaluated the effectiveness of the design and operation of its disclosure controls and procedures as of December 31, 2021. Based on that evaluation, management concluded that, as of such date, the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures were effective.

Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

The management of DallasNews is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) under the Exchange Act. The Company’s internal control over financial reporting is designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of consolidated financial statements for external purposes in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Under the supervision and with the participation of management, including the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer, an assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting was conducted as of December 31, 2021. In making this assessment, management used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”) in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013). Based on this assessment using the criteria set forth by COSO in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013), management concluded that the Company’s internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2021.

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

There have been no changes in the Company’s internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the fourth fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2021, that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 20


PART III

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

The information set forth under the headings “DallasNews Corporation Stock Ownership,” “Proposal One: Election of Directors,” “Corporate Governance – Committees of the Board – Audit Committee,” “Corporate Governance – Committees of the Board – Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee,” and “Information About Our Executive Officers” contained in the definitive Proxy Statement for the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 12, 2022, is incorporated herein by reference.

DallasNews has adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that applies to all directors, officers and employees, which can be found at the Company’s website, dallasnewscorporation.com. The Company will post any amendments to the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, as well as any waivers that are required to be disclosed by the rules of either the SEC or The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, on the Company’s website. Information on DallasNews’ website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

The Company’s board of directors adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines and charters for the Audit, Compensation and Management Development, and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees of the Board of Directors. These documents can be found at the Company’s website, dallasnewscorporation.com.

Shareholders can also obtain, without charge, printed copies of any of the materials referred to above by contacting the Company at the following address:

DallasNews Corporation

P. O. Box 224866

Dallas, Texas 75222-4866

Attn: Investor Relations

Telephone: (214) 977-7342

Item 11. Executive Compensation

The information set forth under the headings “Corporate Governance – Committees of the Board – Compensation and Management Development Committee,” “Executive Compensation – Summary Compensation Table, – Change in Control Arrangements and Other Agreements Upon Termination of Employment, – Potential Payments on Change in Control or Upon Termination of Employment at December 31, 2021,” “Corporate Governance – “Director Compensation” contained in the definitive Proxy Statement for the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 12, 2022, is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

The information set forth under the headings “DallasNews Corporation Stock Ownership of Directors and Executive Officers” and “Equity Compensation Plan Information” contained in the definitive Proxy Statement for the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 12, 2022, is incorporated herein by reference.

Information regarding the number of shares of common stock authorized for issuance under the Company’s equity compensation plans is included in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 1 – Significant Accounting Policies and Recently Issued Accounting Standards.

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

The information set forth under the heading “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions” and “Corporate Governance – Director Independence” contained in the definitive Proxy Statement for the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 12, 2022, is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services

The information set forth under the heading “Proposal Two: Ratification of the Appointment of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” contained in the definitive Proxy Statement for the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 12, 2022, is incorporated herein by reference. 


DallasNews Corporation 2021 Annual Report on Form 10-K

PAGE 21


PART IV

Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules