April 17, 2001
Belo affirms commitment to recruit minorities and women
Dallas, TX -- Belo (NYSE: BLC) announced that in spite of recent court rulings, the Company will continue its efforts, within the constraints of current law, to recruit minorities and women, and support initiatives that encourage female and minority ownership within the media industry.
The announcement follows a ruling by the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. finding the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations unconstitutional.
Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "Belo's initiatives for an inclusive workforce are a fundamental part of our business strategy. We do not need any government encouragement or requirements; our inclusiveness efforts are an integral part of how we deliver the highest quality product to our viewers and readers. It's the only way Belo, or any company, can compete successfully in the 21st century."
In recent years, Belo has implemented a number of inclusiveness initiatives to create a diverse workforce. The Company is a regular participant in professional minority conferences, nationwide job fairs and journalists' conferences that represent a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, including the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Association of Asian-American Journalists and National Gay and Lesbian Journalists.
Belo and its media companies regularly advertise for job candidates in minority publications and minority organization newsletters, offer college internships to minority students, and aggressively recruit students from schools with large minority populations to fill open positions. And, Belo's numerous management development initiatives include high potential minority managers. The Company conducts classes at its media companies that help managers fully recognize the value of diversity and deal fairly with all individuals in an inclusive workforce.
In 2000, 50 percent of Belo's new hires were women, and 38 percent were minorities, reflecting an increase in its hiring of women and minorities each year since 1998. In January 2001, Belo's workforce, comprising 43 percent women and 29 percent minorities, exceeded the percentage of minorities making up the U.S. workforce.
In addition to its inclusiveness initiatives, Belo supports legislation that would reinstate the minority tax certificate program, which would provide tax incentives to broadcasters who invest in small telecommunications businesses, and tax deferrals to major companies that desire to dispose of telecommunications assets and smaller companies that are potential purchasers of those assets.
Belo has also contributed $2.7 million of a total commitment of up to $5 million to Quetzal/J.P. Morgan Partners, L.P., a limited partnership whose mission it is to make private equity investments in companies in the communications industry that ethnic minorities or women own, control or manage and to generate superior returns on those investments.
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 8,500 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, the Southwest, 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 four daily newspapers including The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal and The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA.). Belo Interactive's new media businesses include 35 Web sites, several interactive alliances, and a broad range of Internet-based products. For more information, contact Michael J. McCarthy, Belo's senior executive vice president, or Skip Cass, Belo's senior vice president, at 214-977-6606. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com.