May 12, 2005

KHOU investigation leads to nationwide stand down of U.S. Army recruiting efforts

An investigation by KHOU-TV's 11News Defenders has led to a nationwide stand down of U.S. Army recruiting efforts. The Army's announcement comes just one day after an 11News Defenders investigation exposed a Houston Army recruiter threatening to issue an arrest warrant for a local man if he didn't report to the Army recruiting station for an appointment.


11News aired the threatening message the recruiter left on the man's cell phone as part of a broadcast Monday during 11News at 10pm. The report by KHOU Investigative Reporter Mark Greenblatt, Investigative Executive Producer David Raziq and Investigative Photojournalist Chris Henao included an interview with General Michael Rochelle the head of Army Recruiting. Rochelle said the threat is, "An insult to other recruiters who are conducting themselves in the proper way."


The Army will set aside a full day on May 20 for every recruiter in America to review Army recruiting policies and standards. The Pentagon is calling the day a serious step at self-examination. The Pentagon says it's an effort to stop overly aggressive recruiting tactics.


"This is the kind of substantive reporting that sets KHOU apart from other Houston TV stations," says Keith Connors, KHOU Executive News Director. "The 11News Defenders shed light on issues of importance to our community by uncovering wrong doing and exposing corruption."


The 11News Defenders received a number of national journalism awards including the prestigious George R. Foster Peabody Award for its groundbreaking investigation of Firestone Tires in 2000. The series of reports caused the nation's largest recall of more than 6,000 tires. The Defenders won the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for a series of reports which exposed errors at the Houston Police Department Crime Lab in November of 2002.

KHOU-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 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.