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Belo Corp. (BLC) Offers Election Candidates Free Airtime for the Seventh Consecutive Election Cycle

Belo Corporation (BLC), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is one of the nation’s largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies. The company owns and operates 20 television stations reaching more than 14 percent of U.S. television households, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV affiliates, and their associated Web sites. Belo owns stations in seven of the top 25 markets in the nation, with six stations located in the fast-growing, top-14 markets of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Seattle/Tacoma and Phoenix.

The company, which in 1996 became the first commercial television station group to provide free airtime for congressional and gubernatorial candidates, announced that it will offer the “It’s Your Time” program for the seventh consecutive election cycle this fall. Belo also announced election coverage plans, stating that news-producing stations will televise at least one hour of political coverage each week in the six weeks prior to the general election on November 4. This 2008 coverage may include debates, issue and ad-watch programming, and interviews with local, state and federal candidates.

Debates and “It’s Your Time” spots will be streamed and archived on Belo Web sites through Election Day. Candidates participating in “It’s Your Time” each received five minutes of free airtime. This airtime includes four minutes to tell viewers why they should be elected and one minute to answer a questions specific to the candidate’s individual race. Since the program’s inception, Belo has provided free airtime to almost 700 candidates.

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