Three big newspaper publishers are looking to match

E.W. Scripps

(SSP) - Get Report

with strong earnings reports.

Dow Jones

( DJ),

New York Times

(NYT) - Get Report

and

Belo

(BLC)

are all due to report Thursday and Friday, and their results will speak to the state of the newspaper publishing business.

"Newspapers have been so beaten down right now that any good news will draw the stocks up a bit," says an industry analyst.

Scripps might have helped the others along their way. Shares in the Cincinnati company were up 4% on Wednesday on the heels of a solid earnings report that spurred an upgrade by Deutsche Bank.

At Scripps' newspapers, segment profit rose 9% on a 3.4% revenue increase. Scripps' newspapers benefited from classified advertising demand, solid growth in preprint and other advertising, including online ad sales and some belt-tightening across its operations. It will be interesting to see whether others in the space can follow suit.

New York Times, which analysts estimate will earn 43 cents per share on revenue of $844 million, is up a modest 1% on the week. Its New York Times Media Group, which includes the

Times

newspaper, NYTimes.com and the

International Herald Tribune

, is trying to benefit from cross-platform deals throughout the company. Last month, CEO Janet Robinson said, "As we look at the balance of the year, visibility remains limited" as advertisers adjust their spending levels according to the state of their businesses.

Meanwhile Dow Jones, publisher of

The Wall Street Journal

, should post earnings of 34 cents per share on $469 million in revenue. Its shares have added 4%. Though tech and financial advertising has slumped, the group will be looking to ride its Web presence, recently bolstered by the acquisition of

MarketWatch

, for growth. And the company holds high hopes for both the

Weekend Journal

, which launches this September.

Belo, on the other hand, has had a tougher week: Shares in the owner of

The Dallas Morning News

have fallen 1.4%. At the Dallas-based company, analysts will be looking for earnings of 36 cents a share on $392 million in revenue.

Earnings at New York Times and Belo could suffer from a continued weakness in TV advertising. The automotive industry has not been kind to local station groups so far this year, and a dearth of political advertising is likely to make year-to-year comparisons difficult, especially in Belo's case.