July 25, 2005
Belo to build next generation production center for WWL-TV, WUPL-TV and NewsWatch on Channel 15 in New Orleans
State-of-the-Art Facility Will Provide Full-Digital and HDTV Capabilities
Dallas, TX - Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC) announced plans today to build a new broadcast production center in New Orleans for WWL-TV, its market-leading CBS affiliate. The facility will also support the operations of WUPL-TV, the UPN affiliate that Belo has announced plans to acquire, NewsWatch on Channel 15 and the stations' associated Web sites. The multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art facility will provide full-digital production and HDTV broadcast capabilities.
Robert Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "We are extremely excited about creating one of the nation's most advanced broadcast production centers to support WWL's market-leading news programming and our other media operations in New Orleans. This premier facility will provide our team the latest generation of technical support to bring WWL's viewers even more timely and compelling coverage of important events and programming."
Belo also announced that the new facility will be named the J. Michael Early Broadcast Center, in honor of WWL's president and general manager from 1961 to 1998. Decherd said, "Belo is proud to honor the spirit of innovation and excellence embodied in Mike Early by naming this facility after him. Under Mike's leadership, WWL became the highest-rated CBS television affiliate in the top 50 markets of the United States ruling local news ratings, receiving prestigious national awards, and reflecting the essence of journalistic integrity."
The new 61,000-square-foot, three-story broadcast center will be located at 700 Loyola Avenue in the Central Business District and approximately 1.5 miles from WWL's current location at 1024 N. Rampart Street.
Designed for maximum production efficiency, the facility will include a multi-use news production studio, a full-digital edit suite, integrated Web access for the latest news feeds, production stations for the interactive media team and administrative offices.
The new center will be located on property within the City of New Orleans that Belo acquired in 1995. It will consolidate station operations that are currently housed in several adjacent buildings in the French Quarter.
Construction for the new production facility will begin immediately with occupancy scheduled for early 2007.
Belo is utilizing the services of The Beck Group in planning and developing the project. The interior architect of record is HLW of New York, which specializes in designing premier broadcast production facilities. The exterior architect is Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (EDR) of New Orleans, and the general contractor is Carl E. Woodward of New Orleans.
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.