July 18, 2001
Time Warner Cable and Belo to create 24-Hour cable news channel in Charlotte, North Carolina
NewYork, NY and Dallas, TX -- Time Warner Cable and Belo (NYSE: BLC) announced the formation of a joint venture, Charlotte News Channel LLC, to create a 24-hour local cable news channel in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The cable news channel is expected to launch in early 2002.
Time Warner Cable and Belo have agreed to a 20-year venture to program the Charlotte news channel, which Time Warner Cable has been developing since early this year, and will jointly own and operate the service. The 24-hour news operation will have its own management and newsgathering staff, as well as the ability to draw upon the newsgathering resources of Belo's WCNC-TV (NBC) in Charlotte. Ron Miller, Time Warner Cable vice president and general manager, will become the general manager of the new joint venture.
The Charlotte channel will be the third venture between Time Warner Cable and Belo to create 24-hour cable news channels. In September 2000, the two companies announced an agreement that included the formation of a series of news partnerships and distribution agreements, with immediate plans for the creation of cable channels in Houston and San Antonio. Both channels are expected to launch in mid- to late-2002.
"This unique local news product is something that we will be proud to bring exclusively to our subscribers," said Mitch Roberts, president, Time Warner Cable of Charlotte. "It will be a service that will bring our communities access to local news and information whenever they want it."
Jack Sander, Belo's executive vice president/Media Operations, said, "Since our September announcement, we have moved quickly to capitalize on the relationship we have with Time Warner Cable to better serve the community. Charlotte is an excellent market, as we've seen with WCNC. We look forward to providing our viewers with more of the high-quality news and information they have come to expect from us."
Belo has owned WCNC since 1997. The station has won numerous regional Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards since that time, including a 2001 regional Murrow award for "Overall Excellence" and "Best Newscast" by the Associated Press of North Carolina. WCNC was also awarded first place in 2001 for its political, sports and feature coverage by the Radio and Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas.
John Newton, senior vice president/Programming for Time Warner Cable, said, "We certainly share with Belo a desire to create quality news services and look forward to having as productive a partnership in Charlotte as we already enjoy in Houston and San Antonio."
Industry leaders in programming local and regional news channels for cable, Belo and Time Warner Cable own or operate a total of 11 such news channels. Belo owns NorthWest Cable News, serving two million viewers in the Pacific Northwest, and Texas Cable News, serving more than one million viewers across Texas. Belo also owns four other local cable news operations in Phoenix, Arizona; Norfolk, Virginia; and New Orleans, Louisiana in partnership with Cox Cable.
Time Warner Cable owns and operates New York 1, one of the nation's first local 24-hour cable news channels, which is now seen by over a million and a half viewers in the five boroughs of New York City. It also owns local cable news channels in Austin, Texas; Rochester, New York; Tampa and Orlando, Florida. The Orlando channel is a partnership with Tribune Company.
In addition, Time Warner Cable is also presently building new local 24-hour cable news channels for four more markets, including one in Raleigh, North Carolina. That channel is scheduled to begin operation later this year. While the Raleigh news channel will collaborate with its counterpart in Charlotte, the Raleigh operation will not be part of the joint venture between Time Warner Cable and Belo that will operate the Charlotte cable news channel.
About Time Warner
Time Warner Cable owns and manages the world's most advanced, best-clustered cable television operations, with 90 percent of its 12.7 million customers in systems of 100,000 subscribers or more. The company is North Carolina's leading cable television provider, with systems serving over one million subscribers in the Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Greensboro, and Wilmington markets. Time Warner Cable is a division of AOL Time Warner, the world's first Internet-powered media and communications company, whose industry-leading businesses include interactive services, cable systems, publishing, music, TV networks and filmed entertainment. (NYSE: AOL)
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 8,000 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: The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA.) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX.). Belo Interactive's new media businesses include 34 Web sites, several interactive alliances, and a broad range of Internet-based products. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com. Belo Contact Information: Skip Cass, Belo's senior vice president, at 214-977-6606. Time Warner Cable Contact Information: Mike Luftman, vice president of corporate communications, at 203-328-0613.