March 30, 2004

New Orleans' WWL-TV honored with three regional Murrow Awards

New Orleans, LA -- WWL-TV has now earned three regional Edward. R. Murrow Awards for outstanding achievement in electronic journalism, including top honors for Writing and Continuing Coverage as well as best Web Site for

New Orleans' legendary CBS affiliate was honored with more Murrow awards than
any other television station in Louisiana within a region that also includes Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The awards are given by the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), the worlds largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism.

"It's always an honor to be recognized by your peers," WWL-TV News Director Sandy Breland emphasizes. "It says a lot about the hard work and the team effort that this staff puts forth, both on the air and on the web."

For excellence in Writing, Channel Four Anchor/Reporter Karen Swensen won the regional award for a body of journalistic work that encompassed "Unforgettable Bonds," the story of a local family dealing with the ravages of Alzheimers; "Elis Story," the tragic tale of a young man killed in an accident at a marina owned by a local judge; and "Passing without Progress," a look at how the states high school exit exam prevented a local valedictorian from graduating with her class.

And for the second consecutive year, WWL-TV Reporter Dave McNamara received top honors for his Continuing Coverage of the sex abuse scandals involving Catholic Church clergy. "A Church in Crisis" has followed the story from its beginnings in Boston to the Bishops' meetings in Rome, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

In the category of best Broadcast-Affiliated Web Site, received the award for its consistent dissemination of timely news and information. Maintained by WWL-TVs Tom Planchet, the site was given highest marks for its original news, practical use to the public, and maximization of online technology. The site was also judged for its excellence in "content, innovation, visual design, functionality and interactivity," according to RTNDA.

The RTNDA has honored excellence in journalism with the Murrow awards since 1971. In 2004, RTNDA received 2,680 regional entries for its annual Murrow competition. WWL-TV and other Regional Award recipients will now automatically compete for the national Edward R. Murrow Awards. National winners will be announced in June, and the awards will be presented at the RTNDA Awards Dinner in New York on October 4, 2004.

About WWL-TV
WWL-TV, Channel Four is part of Belo Corp., one of the nations largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,900 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates news and information franchises in some of Americas 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 For more information, contact Mark Swinney, WWL-TV Special Projects Producer, at (504) 529-6308 /