January 22, 2004
DallasNews.com and WFAA.com launch new web site design featuring an enhanced Interactive Customer Experience
Dallas, TX -- Belo Interactive announced today that DallasNews.com, the web site affiliated with The Dallas Morning News, and WFAA.com, the web site affiliated with WFAA-TV, are the latest of its national network of sites to launch the "Interactive Customer Experience" (ICE) project, created to establish a new standard of excellence for all Belo Interactive web sites. Improvements in site speed, navigation and design allow for easy and more efficient access to the award-winning news and information users expect on DallasNews.com and WFAA.com.
The new ICE platform is based on customer feedback and extensive consumer research, including two rounds of usability testing in three different Belo Interactive markets. Improvements to the sites, based on customer requests, include streamlined navigation, an improved video player, more convenient menus, faster page downloads, more precise search results, a tighter and more efficient integration of features, enhanced classified data and superior customization options.
"As more and more North Texas residents turn to DallasNews.com and WFAA.com for local news and information, the importance of a fast, sophisticated and informative web site increases. We want to ensure that we continue to be the premier resource for fast and reliable information on the web. These user-focused improvements allow us to do just that," said John Granatino, Belo Interactive's Vice President of News and Operations.
The Interactive Customer Experience (ICE) project institutes superior design, functionality and editorial standards that will be implemented across 34 Belo Interactive web sites affiliated with Belo television stations and newspapers through March of 2004.
The ICE platform will incorporate easier navigation by neatly grouping all navigation links on the left side of the page. And, as an alternative form of navigation, most site sections and major features are linked in the new "Table of Contents" at the bottom of every page.
In addition, customers now have the ability to customize the site experience quickly and efficiently. Visitors can personalize the site by choosing from several color schemes and changing the article text size. Plus, the new design allows for each page of each web site to expand or contract to the width of the browser window automatically.
"We are very excited about the new dynamic and interactive features we will be able to offer to our customers and our advertisers. We are implementing the highest standards of design, content, functionality and navigation within each of our sites to create the best user experience possible," said Granatino.
The ICE platform will also feature the new Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standard advertising formats that offer much larger ad sizes for advertisers' messages with fewer ads per page. The ad-serving model has been modified to permit all four of the new, larger standard sizes recommended by the IAB.
Belo Interactive sites currently displaying the new ICE platform include: KHOU.com, PE.com, KMOV.com, WCNC.com, AZFamily.com, FOX11AZ.com, KVUE.com, TXCN.com and DentonRC.com. Belo Interactive will launch the ICE redesign strategy across the remainder of the company's sites, KING5.com, NWCN.com, KREM.com, KGW.com, KTVB.com, Zidaho.com, WHAS11.com, Projo.com, KTTU.com, WVEC.com and WWLTV.com, by March 2004.
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About Belo Interactive
Belo Interactive is part of Belo Corp., 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 15 markets) reaching 13.8 percent of U.S. television households; owns or operates 10 cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo's daily newspapers include 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 more than 30 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. For more information, contact Linda Fisk, Vice President/Audience Development and Management, at 214-977-4017.