April 25, 2006
KING5 Receives Top Honors With National Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting
SEATTLE, WA The Society of Professional Journalists has awarded KING Television its 2005 national Sigma Delta Chi award for Investigative Reporting. The prestigious honor went to KING 5 News reporter Susannah Frame's series "Trouble on the Tarmac." Frame, along with producer Kellie Cheadle and photographer Eric Olson, revealed dangerous safety and security problems with the ground crew of Alaska Airlines.
"Trouble on the Tarmac" uncovered a flaw in security procedures which allowed hundreds of unauthorized ex-workers full access to runways and planes. It also revealed a troubling increase in ground collisions between aircraft and ground crews. Shortly after the investigation aired, one of those collisions dangerously damaged a plane. The dent on the ground turned into a gaping hole in the fuselage in mid-flight. Pilots had to take emergency action to bring the plane back to Sea-Tac Airport safely.
"Trouble on the Tarmac" prompted immediate safety changes within the company and at the airport, including investigations by both the Port of Seattle and the Transportation Security Administration. Congressman Rick Larsen (D) Washington has called for an investigation by the Congressional Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
"This is an enormous honor for Susannah, Kellie and Eric for their tireless work on a story of national importance," said Pat Costello, KING 5 News executive news director. "To have their investigation recognized within a category that usually awards this top honor to network news organizations is testament to the caliber of work they produced," said Costello. Last year's winner in the category was CBS News' "60 Minutes" story on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq.
This year's winners of the Sigma Delta Chi Awards were chosen from more than 1,200 entries in 49 categories including print, radio, television and on-line. The current award program began in 1939 when six individual journalists were honored for their contributions to journalism. The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism and promotes the free flow of information to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects the First Amendment of freedom of speech and press.
KING 5 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 7,700 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.