Ward Huey, vice chairman of Belo and president of its broadcasting division, will retire at the end of the year, the company announced last week. Huey, 62, will celebrate his 40th anniversary with Belo in September. He will also retire from the company's board of directors after its December meeting, although he will remain a consultant to the company and active in the A.H. Belo Foundation. He has served on the Belo board since 1983.
Jack Sander, president, Belo Television Group, currently reports to Huey, but as of next January will report directly to company Chairman and CEO Robert Decherd. During the transition between now and the end of the year, Sander will report to both Huey and Decherd.
Effectively, Sander replaces Huey but will retain his current title and add the corporate title of executive vice president/media operations. Sander will also become a member of Belo's six-person management committee.
Huey started as a cameraman for Belo in 1960 at WFFA-TV Dallas. He headed the company's broadcast operations for 25 years, including 13 years as vice chairman. During his tenure, Belo broadcast group grew from three TV stations to the current 20 (including two LMAs).
Huey said that he opted for early retirement because he felt it was in the best interests of the company and because a strong management team is in place.
Said company Chairman Decherd of Huey's decision: "Ward Huey's career at Belo has set a standard for distinction. His leadership is unsurpassed in Belo's modern history, and the company we have created is largely a result of his foresight."
Huey said his future is undetermined, but that he won't be sitting on the sidelines. "I'm not a coupon clipper," he explained. He will consider starting his own media-consulting company after taking some time off.
Huey's industry activities included stints as chairman of the ABC Affiliates Board of Governors and the Television Operators Caucus. He also served on the executive committee of the Maximum Service Television Association and the boards of the Television Bureau of Advertising, Association of Broadcasting Executives of Texas and the Dallas Advertising League. In 1999, Huey was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.