Belo To Cut Capital Spending


Station owner Belo said Tuesday it planned to make a major cut in capital spending and use that money to boost its dividend to stockholders as well as repurchase more shares of the company's stock.

At Belo's annual shareholders meeting, Chairman Robert Decherd also said the company would have to find ways to cut more costs as well, telling the shareholders that the company was in the process of "re-engineering" expenses, including more outsourcing of accounting and technology functions. But he said there was even more that needed to be done, though he was not specific.

Capital spending, which is for new or upgrade property or equipment, will be cut $45 million in 2007, from $120 million to $75 million. It will also be cut from $120 million in 2006, but Decherd did not say by how much.

On the other side of the ledger, Belo will boost its quarterly divided by 25%, from 40 cents to 50 cents. The last increase was a 5.3% boost in 2004. It has also set a target

Belo's media holdings include 19 TV's (it also manages a 20th through a local marketing agreement) and seven cable news channels.