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Dex Media CEO sees improved results ahead

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The CEO of the new Dex Media isn't satisfied with the recent performance of the two yellow pages companies that merged last week to create the business -- but he remains upbeat about the future.

"We're not at all satisfied with where we are, but we know what we have to do to stabilize and improve revenue -- and we have a plan to do so," CEO Peter McDonald said during a conference call Tuesday.

Cary-based Dex One and SuperMedia, which is headquartered in Dallas, merged last week as they each exited from bankruptcy. The combined business, Dex Media, is headquartered in Dallas and is headed by the former CEO of SuperMedia.

In the first quarter, SuperMedia's revenue declined 17 percent while Dex One's revenue fell 16 percent. Both companies posted gains in digital advertising sales that were outpaced by the decline in print ad dollars.

Many of the new company's small-and-midisized business customers "are focused on day-to-day survival rather than marketing," McDonald said. "Many are still hurting following the recent economic recession."

McDonald said the merger will help accelerate the transformation of the business. Each company has been moving aggressively into selling digital ads that aren't limited to online directories. Dex One, for example, aligned itself with partners such as Google, Yahoo and Yelp to offer an array of online and mobile ad products.

Last year Dex and SupeMedia generated a combined $2.7 billion in revenue, including $460 million in digital ad revenue. They entered into bankruptcy earlier this year because they were unable to win the support of 100 percent of their lenders for restructuring their debt as part of their merger deal.

The new Dex Media has more than 5,000 employees, including about 225 in the Triangle. It publishes yellow pages directories in 43 states.

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About the blogger

David Ranii has been a business reporter at The News & Observer since 1993. Over the years he has covered information technology, banking, insurance, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, media businesses and real estate. Contact him at 919-829-4877 or e-mail him.
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