December 4, 2008
Belo Corp. (BLC) Television Stations Provide 140 Candidates Free Airtime During the 2008 Political Season
Television Company extends its commitment to high-quality election coverage
DALLAS Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, announced today that its television stations enhanced local voter education by broadcasting more than 210 hours of political coverage on its 15 news-producing television stations during the 2008 election season. The Company also provided more than 14 hours of free airtime to 140 congressional and gubernatorial candidates in its markets through Belo's "It's Your Time" program.
From September 22 to November 3, these Belo television stations aired an average of 115 local and national election-related stories each week an average of two hours and 20 minutes per station, weekly, during the six-week period. In addition, Belo re-broadcast a weekly average of 357 stories on the Company's six regional and local cable news channels.
Other highlights of the Company's election coverage include:
- a live debate between Louisiana U. S. Senate candidates, Democratic incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu and Republican state treasurer John Kennedy, hosted by WWL-TV, Belo's CBS affiliate in New Orleans, and a consortium of Louisiana television stations;
- a one-hour gubernatorial debate between incumbent Washington Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire and the Republican challenger Dino Rossi, hosted by KING-TV, Belo's NBC station in Seattle/Tacoma, KREM-TV, Belo's CBS station in Spokane, NorthWest Cable News, Belo's 24-hour regional news channel, The Seattle Times, and public radio's Northwest News Network; and,
- a U.S. Senatorial debate between Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley and U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith hosted by KGW-TV, Belo's NBC station in Portland.
Many Belo stations extended their political coverage this election season to multi-media platforms through interactive polls, political blogs, mobile media and Webcasts. For example, KHOU-TV, Belo's CBS station in Houston, streamed the Harris County District Attorney debate on khou.com and provided on-demand election night results for khou.com and mobile users. In addition, KGW's Web site, kgw.com, offered continuous streaming video coverage online for eight hours election day, attracting more than 100,000 unique visitors. The station also provided real-time election results on kgw.com/mobile and covered the election with real-time Twitter alerts election night.
"Belo is deeply committed to its free airtime program and to providing high-quality election coverage that is informative to the electorate," said Dunia A. Shive, Belo's president and Chief Executive Officer. "Showcasing the candidates and our political coverage in new and innovative ways significantly expands the political dialogue among the voting public. We are very pleased to have provided this level of coverage to the local communities we serve."
About Belo's "It's Your Time" Program
Belo pioneered the "It's Your Time" program in 1996 to educate viewers on issues facing their local communities. Candidates participating in "It's Your Time" each receive five minutes of free airtime. Since the program's inception, Belo has provided free airtime to more than 840 candidates in seven consecutive election cycles, including 2008.
About Belo Corp.
Belo Corp. (BLC) is one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2007 annual revenue of $777 million. The Company owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Nearly all Belo stations rank first or second in their local market. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6835.