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Fitch upgrades rating outlook on Belo

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fitch Ratings on Friday upgraded Belo Corp.'s ratings outlook to "Positive" from "Stable," saying it expects the television station owner's credit profile to continue to improve.

The rating agency affirmed the company's junk-grade "BB" issuer default rating and all outstanding ratings. The rating outlook suggests that Fitch may upgrade its ratings in the future.

Fitch said the company has meaningfully reduced its debt levels over the past five years. While Fitch does not expect more material reductions in debt, it said that the mix of ad revenue and increase in revenues expected in the medium term means further cuts in debt would not be necessary for a potential upgrade.

The Dallas-based company owns 20 television stations in 15 markets.

Belo's shares rose 22 cents to close at $8.70.