August 10, 2006
The Dallas Morning News Provides Details of Previously Announced Voluntary Severance Program
Strategic Team Is Focused on Reshaping the Newsroom
DALLAS -- The Dallas Morning News, a subsidiary of Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), provided details today about its previously announced voluntary severance program. The program is part of a broad organizational realignment, adapting print and online products to reflect evolving, fundamental changes in the use of media by consumers and advertisers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
The voluntary severance program is being offered to almost all newsroom employees. It is part of the newspaper's overall strategic realignment to reduce expenses and more effectively allocate resources to areas that show the greatest potential for growth.
"As the newspaper industry adapts to fundamental changes, The Dallas Morning News is shifting resources to meet evolving reader and consumer needs," said Jim Moroney, publisher and chief executive officer of The Morning News. "Continual change is the new constant in our business, but it is not for everyone. Therefore, we are offering a voluntary severance package to those who may prefer another work environment."
The Dallas Morning News expects at least 85 newsroom employees to respond to the voluntary severance program offer. Involuntary reductions are possible if voluntary severance program participation does not match the paper's strategic realignment goals.
The voluntary offer consists of a severance payment of two weeks of base pay per year of continuous employment up to 15 years, and three weeks of base pay for each year of service that exceeds 15. An additional lump-sum payment equal to 12 months of the employee's currently applicable COBRA health care premium is included.
The voluntary severance process will follow the schedule outlined below:
August 10-August 23
Eligible employees receive and consider the offer
August 24-August 30
Eligible employees accept the offer, or not
August 30-September 14
The Dallas Morning News considers and confirms employee acceptances
Final day of work for most of the employees whose acceptance of the voluntary severance has been confirmed
Bob Mong, editor of The Dallas Morning News, noted that a strategic team is focusing on reshaping the newsroom to emphasize local content while maintaining the paper's commitment to journalism, expert editing and sophisticated content. The newspaper will focus on local content produced by metro, investigative, business, sports, photo, general news, art and lifestyles staffs. Detailed plans resulting from the team's work, including a significant newsroom reorganization, are expected to be announced in November.
"We need to keep changing and adapting to the requirements of our local audience," said Mong. "As we empower reporters and photographers to employ methods in new media and digital journalism to communicate stories, our emphasis will remain squarely on excellence in every regard."
About The Dallas Morning News
Established in 1885, The Dallas Morning News is the nation's 10th largest newspaper, serving a weekly print and online audience of more than 2.1 million. The newspaper has received eight Pulitzer Prizes since 1986, as well as numerous other industry awards recognizing the quality of its investigative and feature journalism, design and photojournalism. Its Web site, DallasNews.com, received the Scripps Howard Foundation National Award for Web Reporting in 2005. In 2003, the paper launched the leading Spanish-language daily in North Texas, Al Dia ; the standard-setting free weekday paper, Quick; and the nation's first editorial blog. The Dallas Morning News is the flagship newspaper subsidiary of Belo Corp.
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 more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates in some of America's most dynamic markets in Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, the Mid-Atlantic and Rhode Island. 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 other daily newspapers are The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, California) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, Texas). The company also publishes specialty publications targeting young adults and the fast-growing Hispanic market, including Quick and Al Dia in Dallas/Fort Worth. 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, dividends, 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; the recovery of the New Orleans market(where the Company owns and operates market-leading television station WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate) from the effects of Hurricane Katrina; 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.