Belo Announces Agreement to Sell KOTV to Griffin Communications LLC, Oklahoma City

Tuesday, October 17th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(DALLAS) -- Belo (NYSE: BLC) announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell KOTV, the Company's CBS affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Griffin Communications LLC, Oklahoma City. The sale is subject to FCC and other customary approvals. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

KOTV is located in the country's 59th-largest television market and is the number one station in its market, ranked first sign-on to sign-off in the most recent Nielsen ratings. Belo acquired the station in February 1984 from The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, as part of what was then the nation's largest broadcast acquisition.

Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: "It has been a privilege for Belo to own KOTV and to be an integral part of the Tulsa community for the past 16 and a half years. We are very proud of this television station and know that Griffin Communications will be a superb successor to Belo. KOTV's future is even more assured as part of the Griffin family of companies, where it will receive significant emphasis and capital resources. From Belo's standpoint, the proceeds of the sale can be productively applied in pursuing strategies we have described publicly over the past year. We wish everyone at KOTV the very best in years to come."

John W. Griffin, co-owner of Griffin Communications, said: "We believe the transition of ownership will be very smooth. Belo and Griffin Communications have always had and will continue to have a great working relationship. Our operating philosophies are very similar." He added: "We are excited to return to the Tulsa media community. Our grandfather, J.T. Griffin, signed on KTUL radio in 1932 and our father, John Griffin, and uncle James C. Leake signed on KTUL-8 in Tulsa in 1953."

Co-owner David F. Griffin said: "The combination of Tulsa and Oklahoma City television stations lets us focus our resources on building an Oklahoma-owned media company founded on the guiding principles of community service and journalistic integrity. Those are the principles our family has instilled in all of its companies since it first settled here in 1908.

"While there are distinct and important differences between the Tulsa and Oklahoma City television markets, there are also many opportunities to create synergy between KOTV and KWTV that will enable both stations to more effectively compete in an ever changing information environment."

About Griffin Communications LLC

Griffin Communications LLC owns KWTV, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City; has interests in Sooner Sports Properties with Learfield Sports and Renda Broadcasting that licenses the rights to market the University of Oklahoma Athletics; has a partnership with Cox Communications in operating a 24-hour cable news channel, News Now 53; and has a minority interest in the MediaVergence Group purchased by Internet Broadcast Systems, Inc.. MediaVergence markets an Internet-based weather product.

For more information on Griffin, contact Terry Alexander, KWTV News 9 executive assistant, at 405-841-9143, or Additional information is available online at

About Belo

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 consists of 18 stations reaching 14 percent of U.S. television households. Belo owns six stations in four of the top 17 television markets: WFAA-TV (ABC) in Dallas/Fort Worth; KHOU-TV (CBS) in Houston; KING-TV (NBC) and KONG-TV (IND) in Seattle/Tacoma; and KTVK-TV (IND) and KASW-TV (WB) in Phoenix. In addition, the Company owns six local or regional cable news channels and manages three television stations through local marketing agreements.

Belo's Publishing Division consists of eight daily newspapers, led by The Dallas Morning News, which has the country's seventh largest Sunday circulation and ninth largest daily circulation; The Providence Journal in Providence, Rhode Island; and The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California.

Belo Interactive, Inc., Belo's Internet subsidiary, includes the Web site operations of Belo's television stations and newspapers, interactive alliances and partnerships, and a broad range of Internet-based products and services.

For more information on Belo, contact Skip Cass, Belo's senior vice president, at 214-977-6602. Additional information on Belo is available online at