a media industry resource

Belo Group


This profile considers the Belo newspaper and broadcasting group.

It covers -

  • introduction
  • Providence Journal
  • King Broadcasting
  • studies


US media group Belo owns 17 television stations (six in major markets) reaching 13.7% of US television households, owns or operates six cable news channels and manages three television stations through local marketing agreements. It publishes five daily newspapers including The Dallas Morning News (one of the largest US newspapers, with a daily circulation of over 0.5m) and The Providence Journal.

The group has been moving out of newspapers and expanding its television holdings. It does not have an Australian presence.

Its corporate site is here.

Providence Journal

Acquisition of the Providence Journal Company in 1997 for US$1.5 billion embraced the daily Providence Journal-Bulletin and Dallas Morning News, KING-TV and NorthWest Cable News (NWCN) in Seattle/Tacoma, KGW-TV in Portland, WCNC-TV in Charlotte, WHAS-TV in Louisville, KMSB-TV in Tucson, KREM-TV in Spokane, and KTVB-TV in Boise.

Providence Journal and partner Kelso & Company had acquired King Broadcasting Company in 1992. Providence Journal gained King's broadcast television and cable systems, with King's radio stations being sold separately and its mobile television company sold to an MBO.

The sale included television stations KING-TV (Seattle, Washington), KGW-TV (Portland, Oregon), KREM-TV (Spokane, Washington), KTVB-TV (Boise, Idaho) and KHNL-TV (Honolulu, Hawaii). The Providence Journal already owned WHAS-TV (Louisville, Kentucky), former Ted Turner and Westinghouse station WCNC-TV (Charlotte, North Carolina), KMSB-TV and KTTU-TV (Tucson, Arizona) and KASA-TV (Albuquerque-Santa Fe, New Mexico).

King Broadcasting

King Broadcasting was founded by Dorothy Stimson Bullitt (1892-1989), heir to the Stimson lumber and property fortune. She married lawyer A Scott Bullitt (1877-1932), brother of FDR ambassador William Bullitt, and in 1947 purchased a small Seattle radio station. Two years later she acquired a Seattle FM station and the city's only television station, using the call letters KING to match the name of King County.

King Broadcasting acquired stations in Portland and Spokane, expanded into cable television (King Videocable Company) and provided equipment for local non-profit education station KCTS. It subsequently acquired stations in Boise and Honolulu and a radio station in San Francisco.

Daughter Harriet Bullitt founded Pacific Northwest Magazine (now Seattle magazine) and Pacific Search Press, sold in 1990.


Sources (not sighted for this profile) include Sam Acheson's 35,000 Days in Texas: A History of the Dallas 'News' & Its Forbears (New York: Macmillan 1938), Ernest Sharpe's G. B. Dealey of the Dallas News (New York: Holt 1955) and the corporate history A. H. Belo Corporation: Commemorating 150 Years, 1842-1992 (Dallas: AH Belo 1992).

For the Providence Journal see The Providence Journal: 150 years (Providence: Providence Journal 1981) by Garret Byrnes & Charles Spilman

For King Broadcasting see Casey Corr's King: The Bullitts of Seattle and Their Communications Empire (Seattle: Uni of Washington Press 1996) and On the Air: The King Broadcasting Story (Seattle: Island Publishers 1996) by Daniel Jack Chasan.