May 11, 2005
The Dallas Morning News to build major distribution & production center in southern Dallas
Dallas, TX -- Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC) announced today that The Dallas Morning News plans to build a new distribution and production center in Southern Dallas. The project is one of Belo's largest capital investments ever in the city of Dallas and the first in Southern Dallas. The total cost of the land, building and land improvements, and equipment is projected to be approximately $100 million over a five-year period. Commencement of the project will be contingent on the approval by the Dallas City Council and Dallas County of standard economic development incentives related to building and land improvements.
The new facility will be located on Langdon Road in the Southport Center Development Project, which is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Interstate 20 and Interstate 45. This lies within the only Enterprise Zone in the Dallas city limits.
Jim Moroney, publisher and chief executive officer at The Dallas Morning News, said, "We are extremely excited about bringing this major development project for The Dallas Morning News to the city of Dallas and Southern Dallas. Our roots in Dallas are strong, going back almost 120 years; The Morning News' success reflects the success of this great city.
"We have outgrown our North Plant in Plano and need another facility to support our distribution and production needs. The leaders of Belo Corp. and The Dallas Morning News made a very conscious decision to locate this new facility in the Southern Sector of Dallas if at all possible. The South Plant will provide The Morning News with additional capacity and logistical benefits while contributing to the growth of this important part of the city. The Southport Center's designation as an Enterprise Zone and the associated economic incentives offered by the City of Dallas and Dallas County also make this an especially attractive location."
Moroney added, "We want to thank several city leaders, including Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, Dallas City Councilmember James Fantroy, Dallas County Judge Margaret Keliher and Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, for their support on this major undertaking."
In addition to The Morning News' multi-million dollar investment in land, buildings and equipment for the South Plant facility, the project will support an estimated 1,500 construction jobs and 160 full-time newspaper positions in Southern Dallas during its first five years of development and operation. The jobs at the South Plant will primarily be relocations from facilities in Plano and Arlington.
The first development phase at the South Plant will involve a state-of-the-art collating and cart-loading plant for The Morning News' Sunday newspaper product. The facility will package Sunday advertising supplements in plastic-wrapped bundles for distribution to home delivery subscribers and single-copy sales customers. Only three other major daily newspaper operations in the United States -- the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale -- are currently using this advanced packaging process. Preprint packaging capacity will support up to 90 preprints per Sunday paper.
Construction for the South Plant's first phase is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2005 with some initial site work done in the third quarter of 2005. Operations are expected to start in late 2006. The Sunday preprint packaging operation in Plano will relocate to the South Plant at that time.
Additional phases of development are in the planning stages and should occur between 2006 and 2009. Current plans include shifting the paper's current commercial press operations from its Arlington facility, adding a newspaper distribution center, expanding press operations and installing an automated storage and retrieval system for preprints.
The Morning News is utilizing the services of The Beck Group in planning and developing the project. The architect of record will be the Austin Media Group, a joint venture between The Austin Company and Aecom Company. A general contractor has not yet been selected.
Belo Corp. 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 7,600 employees and $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates in some of America's most dynamic markets in Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic. Belo owns 19 television stations, six of which are in the 15 largest U.S. broadcast markets. The Company also 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). The Company also publishes specialty publications targeting young adults, affluent populations and the fast-growing Hispanic market, including Quick and al dia in Dallas/Fort Worth, and the d, El D and La Prensa in Riverside. Belo operates more than 30 Web sites associated with its operating companies. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Carey Hendrickson, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6626.
Statements in this communication concerning Belo's business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, capital expenditures, investments, future financings or other financial and non-financial items that are not historical facts, are "forward-looking statements" as the term is defined under applicable federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements.
Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to, changes in capital market conditions and prospects, and other factors such as changes in advertising demand, interest rates and newsprint prices; newspaper circulation matters, including changes in readership, and audits and related actions (including the censure of The Dallas Morning News) by the Audit Bureau of Circulations; technological changes, including the transition to digital television and the development of new systems to distribute television and other audio-visual content; development of Internet commerce; industry cycles; changes in pricing or other actions by competitors and suppliers; regulatory changes; adoption of new accounting standards or changes in existing accounting standards by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other accounting standard-setting bodies or authorities; the effects of Company acquisitions and dispositions; general economic conditions; and significant armed conflict, as well as other risks detailed in Belo's other public disclosures, and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the Annual Report on Form 10-K.