Belo cutting 150 employees

Also will reduce some salaries by 5%

DALLAS -- Television company Belo Corp. said Wednesday that it plans to cut 150 jobs, reduce some employee salaries by 5% and suspend its 401(k) matching contributions to help reduce cash operating expenses by about 10% this year.

The 5% salary reduction will affect employees who are part of the Dallas-based company's management-compensation programs. The suspension of the 401(k) matching program, however, will apply to all employees.

Belo, which owns 20 television stations, said the cost-cutting measures will take effect in mid-April.

President and CEO Dunia Shive said the new steps and past cost-cutting initiatives will reduce 2009 cash operating expenses by about 10%, excluding severance costs.

Belo's revenue fell more than 5% in 2008 as increased political advertising and higher retransmission and Internet revenue failed to offset overall advertising declines.

In response, the company initiated a hiring freeze, reduced staff in some markets and took other cost-cutting steps last year.

Last week, Belo said it will indefinitely suspend its dividends after the second quarter to focus on paying down debt and conserving cash. Belo's second-quarter dividend of 7.5 cents will be paid on June 5.

Belo shares fell 18 cents, or 21%, to 69 cents in morning trading.
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