February 23, 2001
Belo's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert W. Decherd, Addresses Editor & Publisher's Interactive Newspapers Conference
Dallas, TX-- Robert W. Decherd, Belo's(NYSE: BLC) chairman, president and chief executive officer, delivered a keynote address today at Editor & Publisher's 12th Annual Interactive Newspapers Conference and Trade Show. The conference, which will run through February 24 in Dallas, provided an opportunity for interactive newspaper professionals to share ideas, best practices and innovative uses of technology.
In his address "Moving Forward," Decherd affirmed the continued viability of the Internet. He cited statistics indicating that consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet for news and information, confirming the Internet's significant role in the mainstream of consumers' lives.
Stressing the role of traditional media in the advancement of the online industry, Decherd said, "We brought content to the radio spectrum and consumers followed. We brought content to the television spectrum and consumers followed.
We are bringing content to the Internet and consumers are following. This is not a time for retrenchment.
This is a time for well-managed entrepreneurism, for calculated risk-taking. This is the time to stay the course and find the path to profitability consumers are telling us is there."
Decherd emphasized four essential components for success in the interactive newspaper arena. "There is a business in the business of new media. We can realize the opportunity by focusing on the consumer, preserving our inherent advantage of localism, preparing for broadband and practicing excellence in journalism online," he said.
Decherd's presentation outlined the rapid growth of Belo's online initiatives. Belo Interactive was formed in May 1999 to extend and expand Belo's core news product online. Since that time, Belo Interactive has been aggressive in its efforts to develop new interactive products - individually and through alliances with other companies.
Today, Belo Interactive manages 38 Web sites including DallasNews.com, WFAA.com and MySanAntonio.com, its top three sites, and its new media businesses include several interactive alliances and a broad range of Internet-based products.
Last year, page views on Belo Web sites grew from 23 million per month in January to more than 71 million per month in December, a 307% increase.
Growth in unique visitors was even more, rising from 548,000 in January to 4.9 million in December, an increase of almost 900%.
Belo is one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading broadcasting, publishing, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with more than 9,000 employees and $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates news and information franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, Arizona, Southern California, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic region. Belo owns 17 television stations (six in the top 17 markets) reaching 13.7 percent of U. S. television households; owns or operates six cable news channels; and manages three television stations through local marketing agreements. Belo publishes five daily newspapers including The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal and The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA.). Belo Interactive's new media businesses include 38 Web sites, several interactive alliances, and a broad range of Internet-based products. For more information, contact Skip Cass, Belo's senior vice president, at 214-977-6602. Decherd's speech in its entirety and additional information, including earnings releases, are available online at www.belo.com.