Belo Invests $2m in Real Estate Firm

A.H. Belo (AHC), the Dallas newspaper company, staked a $2m investment in Sawbuck Realty. The Internet-based real estate broker said the capital will fuel their nationwide expansion into the Southern California, Washington DC and Dallas markets. Belo made the investment in 2008 in hopes of finding a solution for its ailing newspaper assets. Not only will Sawbuck receive capital needed for growth, but Belo hopes the real estate company will boost content for its home listings in the Dallas Morning News. “The Sawbuck search platform will be powering the home search,” said Brian Fugere, vice president of product marketing and strategy. “Through them, we have access to an extensive MLS [Multiple Listing Service] database.” Sawbuck guides buyers entering the market towards real estate listings in their neighborhoods. Before the Internet, newcomers relied on real estate agents to usher them through the housing maze, but the in the paperless age, buyers and sellers use sites like Sawbuck’s to access the pool of available purchases and customers. “We’re not really surprised by Belo’s involvement,” said Cynthia Nowak, communications director for Sawbuck. “More and more newspapers are adding to their online presence.” For instance, the Washington Post has made similar real estate investments and uses the information for their real estate page, Nowak said. Dallas Morning News began staff reduction last summer, but Fugere said that the investment and the hiring freeze at the Dallas Morning News are separate actions. Write to Jon Prior.

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