July 16, 2009

KHOU-TV/DT Channel 11 wins National Edward R. Murrow Honor

HOUSTON - The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) has recognized KHOU's 11News with a National Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in electronic journalism. Animal cruelty and specifically the treatment of horses in Texas and Mexico was the focus of the nationally recognized story by 11News veteran reporter Brad Woodard and photographer Frank McBride.

"We are honored to win this prestigious award and once again show the power of journalism to expose injustice in this case, horrifying animal cruelty to horses in our own backyard," said Susan McEldoon, KHOU President and General Manager.

Dubbed "Slaughtergate," the story was honored in the category of Feature: Hard News. It exposed how 50,000 horses, icons of the American West, were transported from Texas to Mexico for slaughter and ultimately shipped to be served as food in Europe and Japan.

The story featured never before seen government photographs documenting the cruelty that happens to horses during the transport to slaughter. Trailers are cramped and the horses often trample each other. Some arrive dead and others severely wounded. It raises the question, which is worse the act of slaughter or the prolonged process of getting them there.

"The work of reporter Brad Woodard and photographer Frank McBride is an example of hard news, enterprise reporting at its best. It wasn't a pleasant story, but it was a story that needed to be told.

It's the kind of in-depth reporting Houston viewers can't get anywhere else. It's the kind of reporting we at 11News are committed to bringing to our on-air and online audiences every day," said Keith Connors, KHOU Executive News Director.

KHOU-TV/DT is the only station in Texas to win a 2009 National Edward R. Morrow Award. This is the fourth national Murrow award the station has captured since 2000.

Earlier this year, 11News and khou.com won six regional (Texas and Oklahoma) Murrow awards, including Best Web Site and Overall Excellence.

KHOU-TV/DT is a part of Belo Corp. (BLC) is one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2008 annual revenue of $733 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. A Belo station ranks first or second in nearly all of their local markets. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6835.