April 7, 2005

WFAA-TV honored with fourth prestigious George Foster Peabody award for "State of Denial" investigation

Dallas, TX -- The University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced today that WFAA has been honored with a 2004 George Foster Peabody Award for "State of Denial," a series of more than 20 news stories by the station's News 8 Investigates team on abuses and other serious issues involving Texas workers' compensation system. This marks the station's fourth Peabody Award, and second within the past three years. Last December WFAA was honored with its eighth duPont-Columbia University Award for "State of Denial," also its second such recognition in a three-year period.

"We could not be more pleased and proud," said Kathy Clements, WFAA president and general manager. "This team of people work so well together, and they get results often changing laws and lives. This award represents the positive impact that meaningful investigative journalism can have in a community."

Those honored with the 2004 Peabody include: News 8 Investigates Reporter Brett Shipp; producer Mark Smith; photographer/editor Kraig Kirchem; executive producer of special projects Nann Goplerud; and former WFAA vice president/news David Duitch, who now serves as vice president/news at Belo Corp's Washington, D.C. bureau. Shipp, Smith, Kirchem and Duitch were previously honored with a duPont and a Peabody for "Fake Drugs, Real Lives," a series of reports involving Dallas police and fake drugs used to entrap innocent victims.

"WFAA joins an elite group of honorees including: National Public Radio (NPR), BBC America, CBS News "60 Minutes II," Boston PBS station WGBH, HBO, Cinemax and The Discovery Channel among others," added Clements," and is one of only four local television stations to be awarded a 2004 Peabody."

According to the Peabody web site, the award board of judges is "a 15-member group, comprised of television critics, broadcast and cable industry executives and experts in culture and the arts, that judges the entries. Selection is made by the board following review by special screening committees of UGA faculty, students and staff."

The awards will be presented May 16 at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Veteran CBS News correspondent and "60 Minutes" co-editor Morley Safer will host the ceremony.

WFAA-TV 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 7,600 employees and $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates media franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic. Belo owns 19 television stations (six in the top 15 markets); owns or operates seven cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo's daily newspapers are The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). Belo operates more than 30 Web sites, several interactive alliances and a broad range of Internet-based products. Additional information, including earnings releases and corporate communications, is available online at www.belo.com. For more information contact David F. Muscari, vice president/strategic alliances, at 214.977.6490.