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Early to Retire as President and General Manager; Phillips to Assume Responsibility of Belo's WWL-TV

DALLAS, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Belo (NYSE: BLC) announced today that J. Michael Early, president and general manager of WWL-TV, Belo's CBS affiliate in New Orleans, Louisiana will retire effective August 28. Jimmie B. Phillips, WWL's general sales manager and station manager, will assume Early's responsibilities as vice president and general manager.

In making the announcement, Ward L. Huey, Jr., Belo's vice chairman of the board and president of the Broadcast Division said, "Under Mike Early's leadership, WWL rose from a modest television operation in 1961 to become the highest-rated CBS television affiliate in the top 50 markets for the past decade. Mike is truly a broadcasting legend and I am thrilled that he will continue his association with Belo and WWL as a consultant."

Early, whose career spans 56 years, has served as WWL's leader for the last 37 years, one of the longest tenures of any broadcasting executive in America. Under his guidance since 1961, WWL has been the dominant television station in the New Orleans market for 27 years and regularly finishes among the top three CBS affiliates in the nation, season after season. During Early's tenure, the station has won five George Foster Peabody awards, a national Emmy Award and three Edward R. Murrow Awards, among others. In May, Early became the fifth recipient of Belo's William H. Seay Award, given annually to an employee whose standards and values personify former Belo director William H. Seay's integrity, loyalty and commitment to journalistic standards.

Prior to Early's arrival at WWL, he served for more than 20 years as a labor attorney and consultant to the station's owners, the Jesuit Fathers of Loyola University. In the late 1980s, the Jesuit Fathers voted to sell the television operation. Assembling a coalition of WWL employees and several investors, and securing the backing of a national insurance company, Early led the first successful buyout of a station in America by its employees, who subsequently sold the station to Belo in 1994.

With a long history of civic involvement, Early is a past president of the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters, former chairman of the CBS Affiliates Promotion Board and was a founder of the Greater New Orleans Association of Broadcasters.

A native of New Orleans, Early is a graduate of Loyola University School of Law.

Commenting on his retirement, Early said, "I have been fortunate to work with an outstanding group of people and I'm proud to have been a part of this organization for 37 years. Jimmie Phillips is an outstanding television executive. Her broad experience in the television industry, including 14 years at WWL, make her the ideal choice to lead the station in the years ahead."

Phillips said, "Working alongside Mr. Early has been a great experience and I look forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead."

Phillips has served as station manager for the past eight years. Having joined WWL in 1984 as account executive, Phillips became national sales manager in 1985. She became local sales manager in 1988, and was promoted to general sales manager in 1991. Prior to joining WWL, she worked at WDSU-TV in New Orleans. Phillips began her career at WAVE-TV in Louisville, Kentucky in 1969.

Phillips currently serves on the boards of several organizations including the United Way Marketing and Communications Committee, the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.

A native of Burkesville, Kentucky, Phillips attended Bowling Green Business University/Western Kentucky State University.

Belo is one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of television broadcasting, newspaper publishing, cable news and electronic media assets. The Company's television group currently reaches 14.2 percent of U.S. television households, including three stations in the top 12 television markets: WFAA-TV (ABC) in Dallas-Fort Worth; KHOU-TV (CBS) in Houston; and KING-TV (NBC) in Seattle-Tacoma. Belo has seven stations in the top 30 markets, 12 stations in the top 50 markets, and network-affiliation as follows: four ABC affiliates, six CBS affiliates, five NBC affiliates and two FOX affiliates. In addition, the Company manages four television stations through local marketing agreements and owns three local or regional cable news channels.

Belo's Publishing Division is headed by The Dallas Morning News (, which has the country's eighth-largest Sunday circulation and ninth-largest daily circulation, and The Providence Journal (, the leading newspaper in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Belo also owns The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California; the Messenger- Inquirer in Owensboro, Kentucky; The Eagle in Bryan-College Station, Texas; the Arlington Morning News in Arlington, Texas; and The Gleaner in Henderson, Kentucky.

SOURCE A. H. Belo Corporation
 -0- 07/29/98

/CONTACT: Harold Gaar of A. H. Belo Corporation, 214-977-7650/

/Company News On-Call: or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 117813/

/Web site:

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CO: A. H. Belo Corporation ST: Texas IN: PUB ENT SU: PER

JP-CT -- DAW030 -- 8667 07/29/98 18:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 29, 1998
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