June 19, 2007
Belo Presents at the Mid-Year Media Review
New York -- Belo Corp. presented today at the Mid-Year Media Review Conference in New York highlighting the Company's business strategies and current operations.
Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman and chief executive officer, emphasized the significant value of Belo's television assets. "Belo has a premier collection of television assets that are performing at a high level," said Decherd. "Belo's television stations are leaders in their markets, have had a long-term emphasis on local market revenues, are diversified by geography and network affiliation, produce high-quality journalism and are located in strong growth markets. Together, these characteristics create a very attractive profile that is recognized by the networks, syndicators and cable, satellite and broadband companies.
"Even with the recent increase in our stock price, Belo's television stations, which we believe to be the overall best-performing group of television assets by a non-network television operator, are still significantly undervalued versus pure-play television companies. However, a rational market will, over time, recognize the value of our television assets and their contribution to the whole of Belo."
Decherd noted the significant progress being made in transforming Belo's newspaper businesses to compete more effectively in an increasingly Internet-centric environment. "We are creating new print products to reach targeted audiences and leveraging our newspaper franchises to build sustainable Internet businesses," said Decherd. "Concurrently, we are maintaining a strong focus on core newspaper operations, which remain the primary driver of cash flow."
Decherd also reported that Belo's newspapers are implementing a number of proactive initiatives to reshape their circulation to reach the readers that advertisers most desire. Over the last year, The Dallas Morning News narrowed its distribution perimeter to 100 miles outside of Dallas/Fort Worth, which resulted in a cost reduction of $9 million annually with little or no affect on advertising revenues. At the same time, Belo made a policy decision to cease including third-party barter circulation figures in reported circulation and to limit other third-party circulation. The Morning News also modified its marketing and pricing strategies to reduce the cost and effort involved in attracting and retaining high-churn subscribers and began aggressively targeting subscribers in highly attractive zip codes. To gain deeper knowledge about its readers, The Morning News implemented a Customer Value Management system that accumulates in-depth market intelligence about customers.
Decherd said, "Some of these circulation initiatives are ongoing, so we expect circulation at The Morning News to decline over the next few six-month reporting periods, and that rate of decline could at times exceed other major metro newspapers where different policies are in place. In actively marketing our products, the emphasis should be on attracting quality subscribers rather than seeking quantity at any cost. Instead of focusing on short-term performance, our goal over time is to deliver a stable audience with a demographic profile that is very attractive to advertisers -- and do so in the most cost effective way possible."
Decherd also reported that Belo's online revenues and usage metrics continue to grow at impressive rates. Regarding Belo's recently announced agreement with Yahoo!, Decherd noted, "The partnership among Belo, its fellow Newspaper Consortium members and Yahoo! will allow us to take full advantage of the significant local online advertising opportunity that exists and further propel Belo's Internet businesses."
The full text of the presentation and a replay of the Webcast are available on Belo's Web site on the Investor Relations page at www.belo.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 20 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.
Statements in this communication concerning Belo's business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenue, 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 patterns and demography, and audits and related actions 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; Federal Communications Commission and other 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.