News & Observer records solid first quarter

Employees at The News & Observer in Raleigh fearing a new round of cuts with the end of the year’s first quarter were able to exhale Monday. A memo¬† to employees from Publisher Orage Quarles III says the newspaper exceeded “budgeted goals in all categories” during the first three months of 2010.

The note gives few details, but credits “better than expected advertising revenue performance and a continued focus on expenses.” The Advertising Department’s “third annual online sales blitz” racked up “more than $1 million in annualized sales,” Quarles adds.

“There are still question marks about the economy and its effect on our ad revenues, but we are seeing signs that the worst may be behind us.¬† We certainly hope so,” the memo says.

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