February 19, 2007
James M. Moroney, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, Dies At Age 85
His Contributions Shaped Belo for an Entire Generation
DALLAS -- Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC) announced today the passing of one of the great leaders in the Company's history, James M. "Jimmy" Moroney, Jr., at the age of 85. For more than 60 years, Moroney helped drive the evolution of The Dallas Morning News, Belo's television business, and the parent company, Belo Corp. His legacy is that of a caring father, generous leader and loyal friend.
"Jimmy will be remembered always for his personal humility and unwavering belief in Belo's institutional purposes," said Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "He exerted a steady and powerful influence on the Company's transitions and expansions over half a century, and in many instances, he was the pivotal influence."
Moroney joined The Dallas Morning News in 1946 after serving in the U.S. Navy. He held numerous positions with the Company throughout his career, starting as a reporter at The Morning News and retiring as chief executive officer and chairman of the Board of Directors in December 1986 at age 65. From 1987 to 2000, he remained on the Board of Directors, serving as chairman of the executive committee, and upon retirement from the board, he was named chairman emeritus.
His forward-thinking insight led Belo's expansion into new products including broadcast television and new markets outside of Dallas. In the 1970s, Moroney played a critical role in converting Belo from a privately-held company founded by his grandfather, George Bannerman Dealey, into one of the nation's largest publicly-traded media companies.
In 1980, Moroney became president and chief executive officer of The Dallas Morning News and president and chief operating officer of Belo. Moroney became chief executive officer of Belo in 1983 and the following year was elected chairman of the board. During his tenure as CEO, he was instrumental in the purchase of Corinthian Broadcasting Group from The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation. At the time, the $606 million transaction was the largest ever in U.S. broadcast history.
"One remarkable thing about Jimmy was his consistency," said Decherd. "That's very rare in this world, as we think about the length of time he was part of Belo, both as an employee and as a director. It's even more remarkable in a world where time is measured in nanoseconds, and where the lifespans of companies and institutions and product ideas have been reduced to very short cycles.
"I'm not sure we'll see many more Jimmy Moroneys, but the spirit and example that he created will be enduring for us at Belo, and will be an example for many others to follow," added Decherd.
An obituary published in today's Dallas Morning News details Moroney's extensive professional and civic accomplishments, and together with a news story broadcast on February 18 on WFAA-TV, can be accessed online at dallasnews.com or wfaa.com.
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 7,100 employees and $1.6 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 D a 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.