May 9, 2001
Belo Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert W. Decherd addresses shareholders
Dallas, TX -- Belo (NYSE: BLC) chairman, president and chief executive officer Robert W. Decherd addressed shareholders today at the Company's Annual Meeting.
In his remarks, Decherd reviewed the Company's performance and journalistic accomplishments in 2000, while addressing Belo's development of new businesses and products, distribution partnerships, and technology enhancements.
A replay of major presentations at the meeting will be available online for two weeks beginning Wednesday, May 9, at 6:00 p.m. CDT on the News Releases page of the Company's Web site at www.belo.com.
Decherd noted Belo had an outstanding year in 2000, with its 10 largest operating companies achieving all-time revenues and cash flows. He said, "2000 was a very productive year for Belo, but we are just getting started in defining the Company's future.
Belo was as aggressive as at any point in our history developing new businesses, distribution partnerships, content agreements and innovative products to fuel the Company's growth."
Focusing on Belo's business strategies, Decherd pointed to the increasing value of Belo's operating clusters in developing incremental revenues and reducing operating expenses.
Belo is leveraging its strength in three high-growth regions to extend its news product and create new products and services -- individually and through partnerships. Decherd stressed the importance of partnerships in today's media environment, and noted Belo's network and syndication relationships with Disney, Viacom, NBC and News Corp.; its carriage agreements with DirecTV and Echostar; and its comprehensive partnership with Time Warner Cable to create cable news channels and Internet sites in Houston and San Antonio.
He also pointed to key affiliations created by Belo Interactive, Belo's Internet subsidiary, including the Company's recent announcement to implement the CareerBuilder online employment product on its Web sites.
Decherd said, "Belo is creating new local news products and services, individually and through partnerships that can be delivered through an array of distribution channels, including cable, satellite, the Internet and wireless applications - as well as our core businesses of broadcasting and publishing. We are hard at work developing partnerships, installing the appropriate technical infrastructure, and assembling the right management personnel to compete successfully in a dynamic media marketplace."
As a part of Belo's strategy to create new businesses and products, Decherd discussed Belo's plans to migrate its technical infrastructure to a digital, server-based platform, substantially increasing the ability of its media companies to store, edit and repurpose virtually any type of news content produced by Belo at a fraction of the time and at a much lower cost than previously required. He said, "Our conversion to digital infrastructure enables us to develop incremental products. Where we can cost-effectively produce incremental products, we can also deliver incremental revenues."
In closing, Decherd commented, "We've put into place a strategy, a discipline and a management team that adapt quickly. We're actively preparing for the arrival of new technologies and distribution platforms while continuing to sustain the vitality of our core businesses. We're operating in high-growth markets and strategically focusing on specific regions wherein we offer numerous products through a variety of distribution means.
We're partnering with the best content, technology and distribution partners in our local markets and clusters to ensure greater accessibility to our customers. And, most importantly, we remain committed to the principles that have always guided this Company: journalistic excellence and community service."
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.