January 16, 2007
WWL-TV Wins 2007 Dupont-Columbia Award For Its Hurricane Katrina Coverage
Award Completes Broadcast Journalism's Triple Crown for WWL
DALLAS -- Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC) announced today that WWL-TV, its CBS affiliate in New Orleans, has received the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. WWL is one of only five local commercial television stations in the nation to win this award. A total of fourteen winners from a pool of 526 television and radio submissions will receive their awards on Wednesday, January 17, at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
"We are extremely proud of the extraordinary commitment the WWL team made to covering one of our nation's worst natural disasters," said Dunia Shive, Belo president/Media Operations. "Our journalists overcame tremendous obstacles, setting personal needs aside, to produce some of the finest news coverage in the history of broadcast journalism. Their leadership performance never wavered before, during or after the storm, and their determination reflects the exceptional commitment they have to the local community," added Shive.
The 150 employees of WWL provided 14 days of continuous coverage of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, beginning two days before the storm made landfall. Journalists presented i nformation first about the storm track, evacuation orders and directions for reaching safety. Following these initial reports, the effects of the storm and the ensuing flood, the rescues, the damage and painfully slow response to the plight of storm victims were reported. Dedicated WWL team members provided viewers with vital news and information when the need was greatest. As one viewer said, "When every light was out, WWL was there."
Due to careful and extensive pre-planning, WWL was the only station to remain on the air during the height of the storm and in the days afterwards. Continuous coverage originated from WWL studios in the French Quarter as well as from an alternate broadcast facility on the Louisiana State University campus and the WWL transmitter facility and studios of Louisiana Public Broadcasting in Baton Rouge. Programming was simulcast on radio, streamed on wwltv.com and seen statewide on Louisiana's public broadcasting channel. Satellite feeds of the coverage were rebroadcast by stations from Texas to New England, and other areas housing evacuees.
WWL is the only New Orleans television station to have ever won all three major broadcast journalism awards related to the same event, referred to in the industry as the "Triple Crown," which includes the duPont-Columbia award, the George Foster Peabody Award and the national Edward R. Murrow Award. WWL also has been recognized with other major industry awards for its Hurricane Katrina coverage including the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF) First Amendment Leadership Award, National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) Service to America Samaritan Award and the Louisiana State University Manship School of Mass Communication Manship Prize.
The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards recognize excellence in broadcast journalism and have been administered by the Graduate School of Journalism since 1968. Established by Jessie Ball duPont in 1942 as a tribute to the journalistic integrity and public-mindedness of her late husband, Alfred I. duPont, the Awards are the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, which are also administered by the Graduate School of Journalism.
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 7,400 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 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.