October 10, 2001
Belo announces expense reductions in response to lower advertising revenues
Dallas, TX-- Belo(NYSE: BLC) announced today a series of immediate cost reductions designed to reset Belo's expense structure to match lower expected revenue generation and maintain strong levels of cash generation.
In a communication today from Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer, to all employees, the following actions were announced:
Belo will eliminate approximately 160 jobs Company-wide by the end of October. The Company intends to hold employment steady through 2002 with most positions that become open next year being filled in the normal course to ensure that Belo seizes competitive opportunities.
--Belo will maintain a strong complement of sales personnel to drive revenues to higher levels, and the Company will be alert to the number of people and necessary resources to produce superior journalistic products day-in and day-out. Following these reductions, Belo will have lowered the number of its full-time equivalent employees by approximately 8 percent since year-end 2000.
-- Wages will be frozen Company-wide for one year, effective October 9. Belo employees who have labor agreements or personal services contracts will be asked to take the same action voluntarily.
-- Effective October 1, wages for the five members of Belo's Management Committee were reduced by 5 percent and will remain unchanged at least until 2003.
-- Capital spending and all discretionary expense will be held at current, reduced levels through 2002.
-- The Company's cash dividend will not be increased until 2003 at the earliest.
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 18 television stations (six in the top 16 markets) reaching 14 percent of U. S. television households; owns or operates six cable news channels; and manages two 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. 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.