May 22, 2001
KHOU-TV and former Broadcast Division Executive receive Peabody Awards
Dallas, TX -- Belo's (NYSE: BLC) KHOU-TV, its CBS affiliate in Houston, Texas, and H. Martin (Marty) Haag, Jr., the Broadcast Division's former senior vice president/news, were presented George Foster Peabody Awards at a luncheon Monday in New York City.
KHOU received a Peabody for its investigative series on Firestone tires, making the station the recipient of every major broadcast journalism award for 2000, and Haag received a special Peabody for his long-standing contributions to journalism and the broadcast industry.
The George Foster Peabody Awards are widely recognized as broadcasting's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize and are administered by the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Peabody Awards are voted by a 15-person national advisory board of television critics, broadcast industry executives, scholars and experts in culture and fine arts.
Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "KHOU broke the consumer story of 2000 with its investigative series on the safety of Firestone tires. The quality of their staff's work reflects the exemplary standards we maintain at every Belo media company.
"Marty has been a news leader in television for more than 25 years. In the last decade, he has become the reference point for Belo when we speak of journalistic standards and principles."
Peter Diaz, KHOU president and general manager, said, "Most journalists and news organizations work their entire careers educating and informing viewers and never receive this kind of recognition. I'm proud of the body of work by this incredible team of dedicated journalists."
KHOU's award-winning team included investigative reporter Anna Werner, producer David Raziq and photojournalist Chris Henao. Werner stated, "What we did was break the silence. We thank the many victims and families who told their painful stories, and Belo and KHOU for their steadfast support."
In accepting the award for establishing high ethical standards and promoting quality in television, Marty Haag said, "I am so humbled by this award.
There are no solo flights in this business. I've been fortunate to work with some of the finest journalists anyone could know and to work with Belo, which has stood for quality and public service for more than a century."
In addition to the George Foster Peabody Award, KHOU's investigative team has won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, a Scripps Howard Foundation Award, the George Polk Journalism Award, a National Headliners Award, an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, which automatically qualifies KHOU for the national Murrow Awards competition this fall.
Electronic Media magazine named KHOU Station of the Year in its January 8, 2001 issue. This year marked Electronic Media's launch of the annual award, which recognizes a television station that has demonstrated outstanding public service, exceptional performance or pace-setting innovation.
Haag, who recently retired from Belo after 27 years, will receive a Peabody Award for his numerous contributions to the broadcast industry. Louise Benjamin, interim director of the Peabody Awards, said, "Marty is an industry icon who's helped establish high ethical standards and quality reporting at both local and network news levels."
Haag played a key role in transforming WFAA-TV, the Company's ABC affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth, from a small local news organization in 1974 into what is consistently one of the best local news operations in the country today. Under Haag's direction, the station won two Peabody Awards, six Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Awards and three Edward R. Murrow Awards, more than any other major-market television station in the nation. Belo's WWL-TV in New Orleans received a Murrow Award in 1994 and KOTV, formerly a Belo station, received four Murrow Awards under Haag's news leadership. Haag will continue to serve as a consultant to Belo and various news organizations.
Haag has previously been recognized personally for his contributions to the field of journalism, and in March 2000 was presented the First Amendment Service Award by the Radio Television News Directors Foundation.
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, senior vice president, at 214-977-6602. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com.