April 18, 2006
Belo Offers Free Airtime to Candidates for Sixth Consecutive Election Cycle and Expands 2006 Political Coverage
Dallas, TX Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), which in 1996 became the first commercial television station group to provide free airtime for congressional and gubernatorial candidates, announced that it will offer the "It's Your Time" program for the sixth consecutive election cycle this fall.
The Company also announced election coverage plans, stating that Belo's news-producing stations will televise at least one hour of political coverage each week in the six weeks prior to the general election on November 7. The Company's election coverage in 2006 will include debates, issue- and ad-watch programming, and interviews with local, state and federal candidates. Debates and "It's Your Time" spots will be streamed and archived on Belo Web sites through election day. In 2004, Belo stations broadcast over 200 hours of election coverage from mid-September through election day on November 2, including several congressional and gubernatorial debates.
Candidates participating in "It's Your Time" each receive five minutes of free airtime four minutes to tell viewers why they should be elected and one minute to answer a question specific to the candidate's individual race. In 2004, 159 qualified candidates for U.S. House, U.S. Senate and state gubernatorial offices participated in "It's Your Time," receiving more than 20 hours of free airtime. Since the program's inception, Belo has provided free airtime to more than 550 candidates.
"Belo has a deep commitment to providing robust election coverage that helps create an informed electorate in the local communities we serve, without a government mandate," said Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Since Belo's introduction of this unprecedented program, other broadcast companies have joined Belo's efforts and are providing free airtime in their respective markets."
Belo's coverage plans for the six weeks prior to the election include:
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 7,700 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 and the fast-growing Hispanic market, including Quick and Al Dia in Dallas/Fort Worth, and 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.