May 24, 2001
Burl Osborne to retire as President of Publishing Division and Publisher of The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, TX -- Belo(NYSE:BLC) announced today that Burl Osborne, president of the Company's Publishing Division and publisher of The Dallas Morning News, plans to retire as an executive officer on December 31, 2001.
Osborne, who will be 64 in June, will continue to serve as a member of the Company's Board of Directors until the Annual Meeting of Shareholders in 2002, when he will retire from the Board in conformity with Belo policy. Osborne will assume the title of publisher emeritus of The Dallas Morning News, and will continue to serve as chairman of The Belo Foundation.
James M. Moroney III, 44, will succeed Osborne as publisher and chief executive officer of The Dallas Morning News effective June 18, 2001. Robert W. Mong, Jr., 52, will be president and editor of The Morning News, a title last held by Osborne prior to his becoming publisher of the newspaper.
Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "Burl Osborne's central role in creating one of the great newspapers in America is broadly recognized within Belo and throughout the newspaper industry.
During his 21 years at Belo, Burl has restored The Morning News to preeminence, and, as much as anyone on the Belo team, has been an advocate for converging Belo's legacy media and interactive businesses.
Burl's leadership at the corporate level, and his influence in the newspaper industry, have been critical to Belo's growth and success. His extraordinary
journalistic abilities have had a profound impact throughout Belo."
Osborne joined The Dallas Morning News in October 1980 as executive editor following 20 years at The Associated Press, where he was managing editor of the AP's worldwide news operations.
Over the ensuing two decades, he assumed responsibility for The Morning News and Belo's overall publishing activities.
In 1981, he became vice president and executive editor, and was promoted to senior vice president and editor in 1983.
He was named president and editor in 1985 and became publisher in 1991. Osborne was elected to the Company's Board of Directors in 1987 and was named president of Belo's Publishing Division in November 1995.
He has served as a member of Belo's Management Committee from its inception. During Osborne's tenure, the circulation of The Morning News more than doubled and the newspaper received six Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic achievement. For the past two years, Columbia Journalism Review has named The Morning News one of the five best newspapers in the United States.
In commenting on his transition to publisher emeritus and chairman-elect of The Associated Press, Osborne said, "Belo is a great company because it is populated by talented, committed people who passionately believe that excellence in content and public service is inextricably related to excellence in business performance. I will miss the day to-day excitement of this pursuit, but will remain engaged in the issues that affect the place of credible news and information in our democracy."
As publisher emeritus, Osborne will continue to represent Belo in the newspaper and broadcast industries throughout the United States and internationally. He will elinquish the publisher emeritus title when his several industry roles end.
Osborne is vice chairman, chairman-elect and a member of the executive committee of The Associated Press. He is scheduled to become chairman at the AP's annual meeting in 2002. Osborne is also currently president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. He serves on the boards of the Newspaper Association of America and the Committee to Protect Journalists, and is a director and member of the executive committee of the World Association of Newspapers.
He is also a member of the Texas Book Festival Advisory Committee.
During his tenure at Belo, Osborne has served as a member and co-chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board, president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, chairman of the Foundation for American Communications, chairman of the American Press Institute, president and chairman of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association, trustee of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation, and chairman of the Presstime Advisory Committee of the Newspaper Association of America. Osborne has been a trustee and chairman of
the executive committee of Paul Quinn College; a director of The Partnership for Organ Donation; a member of the Advisory Committee for the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, the Advisory Board of the School of Communications at the University of Texas, and the Journalism Advisory Committee of the Knight Foundation; and has served on the Arts Executive Board of Southern Methodist University.
Osborne received the National
Press Foundation George David Beveridge, Jr., Award for Editor of the Year in 1992, and was awarded the Pat Taggart Texas Newspaper Leader of the Year Award in 1993. In 1990, he was named Newspaper Executive of the Year by Adweek magazine. He was named a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists and received a Millennium Award from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, both in 1999.
He was named "Father of the Year" in 1996 by the Luncheon Committee of Dallas. In 1997, he was awarded the first Organ Transplant Pioneer Award by the International Society of Artificial
Internal Organs. He has been named to the Journalism Hall of Fame at Marshall University and the University of Kentucky.
Burl and his wife, Betty, an attorney, have one son, Jonathan Osborne, who is a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.
Osborne is a journalism graduate of Marshall University in Huntington (WV.) and holds a master's degree in business administration from Long Island University in New York, and has received distinguished alumnus awards from both institutions. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
Early in his career, Osborne
worked as a reporter for the Ashland (KY.) Daily Independent and WHTN-TV in Huntington, West Virginia. In 1960, Osborne joined The Associated Press
as a correspondent in Bluefield, West Virginia. In 1962, he became an editor-reporter in Charleston, West Virginia, and in 1964, moved to Spokane,
Washington, where he was responsible for news in parts of three states. In 1967, Osborne was based in Denver and became news editor for Colorado and Wyoming.
He became chief of bureau in Louisville, Kentucky in 1970 and was promoted to chief of the AP's Ohio bureau in Columbus two years later. In 1974, Osborne was named assistant chief of the AP's news bureau in Washington, D.C. and was promoted to managing editor of the AP in 1977, based in New York City.
A telephonic press conference with Robert Decherd, Burl Osborne, Jack Sander, Jim
Moroney and Bob Mong will be held today at 1:30 p.m. CDT.
Members of the media and investment community are invited to participate by calling 1-800-219-6110. All participants should call in at least five minutes prior to the commencement of the press conference to allow an
operator sufficient time to connect callers to the conference. All others are invited to join the press conference in a listen-only mode by logging on to www.belo.com and clicking on the news releases tab or going directly to www.belo.com/news.html.
An audio replay of the press conference will be available approximately one hour after its conclusion at www.belo.com.
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.