April 23, 2001
Belo's KING-TV receives Walter Cronkite Award
Dallas, TX -- Belo (NYSE: BLC) announced today that KING-TV, its NBC affiliate in Seattle/Tacoma, Washington, was awarded a USC Annenberg Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Broadcast TV Political Journalism at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. Friday evening.
KING received the award for its one-hour program, "Adwatch," an analysis of political campaign ads. The program was reported and hosted by KING reporter Robert Mak.
The award named for Mr. Cronkite was created to help induce network and local television news operations to create television formats that place candidates and their issues at the heart of political coverage. The award is sponsored by Reliable Resources, a project of The Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.
Reliable Resources, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, was created to help generate and disseminate ideas and best practices for improving broadcast political coverage. The Norman Lear Center, named for television writer, producer, and director Norman Lear, is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center exploring implications of the convergence of entertainment, commerce, and society.
Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "We are honored that KING's efforts to provide its audience with superior coverage of important political issues have been recognized with such an esteemed award. KING's commitment to its viewers reflects a Company-wide initiative at all Belo television stations, cable news channels and Web sites to provide our audiences with extensive information on candidates as well as the issues most important to them.
Belo's expanded news coverage of Campaign 2000 achieved the goals of providing robust debate and increasing viewer knowledge without a government mandate."
"Adwatch," which aired Sunday morning prior to the November election, was immediately followed by "It's Your Time," a precedent-setting program first launched by Belo during the 1996 elections. In "It's Your time," Belo stations provide five minutes of free airtime to qualified federal and gubernatorial candidates during the months leading up to the elections. In 2000, 118 candidates participated in the program. Approximately 30-45 days prior to the November elections, Belo's expanded election coverage of Campaign 2000 included the following:
* Every Belo television station broadcast three issue- or candidate-centered stories a week during the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. or late-night newscast, Monday through Friday. When possible, stories included an analysis of a political advertisement or a candidate's position on an issue.
* Belo television stations provided live coverage of general election presidential debates.
* Belo's NorthWest Cable News and Texas Cable News offered daily five-minute single-issue debates and extended interviews with local, state and federal candidates and replays of "It's Your Time."
* Several Belo Web sites hosted e-town meetings, allowing voters to express their opinions and gather information on relevant local issues in an online setting.
* Belo's Web sites provided voter registration information and links to helpful voting-related sites.
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 Skip Cass, Belo's senior vice president, at 214-977-6602. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com.