April 5, 2002
Belo supports FCC Chairman's digital television plan
Dallas, TX-- Robert W. Decherd, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Belo (NYSE: BLC), today expressed support for the digital television plan that Michael K. Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, outlined Thursday in letters to U.S. Senators Ernest F. Hollings and John McCain. In a letter delivered to Powell, Decherd stated:
"I'm writing to express my support for the digital television plan you laid out in your letters to Chairman Hollings and Senator McCain. While the plan does not address a number of the major issues holding up the transition, it is an excellent first step.
"As you know, Belo has embraced high definition television from the outset of the transition. Your request that DTV affiliates of the top four networks in markets l-l00 be prepared to pass through network high definition programming by January l, 2003 is reasonable and certainly one that Belo is committed to meeting. In regard to on-air promotion of DTV programming, Belo has taken a leading role in the NAB/CEA DTV Zones campaign in Houston, Texas and Portland, Oregon. In addition, our CBS affiliate in New Orleans, WWL-TV, will soon begin promotion of high definition television. We are hopeful that the other industries that you have asked to assist voluntarily in moving the transition forward will respond in a positive fashion.
Voluntary efforts are far preferable to the inevitable mandates that will be necessary from the FCC and Congress, if the transition continues to falter.
"As we discussed in our recent meeting, I strongly encourage you to continue to take a proactive, leadership role in regard to all of the unresolved issues related to the transition. I also suggest that you consider setting hard deadlines on all of the unresolved issues under consideration by the FCC DTV Task Force.
"Mr. Chairman, thank you for taking this important step."
Belo is one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,800 employees and $1.4 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 19 television stations (six in the top 16 markets) reaching 13.9 percent of U.S. television households; owns or operates six cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. 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 Scott Baradell, vice president/Corporate Communications, at 214.977.2067. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com.