Texas Almanac, 1992-1993 Page: 57
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A H. BELO CORPORATION 57
Belo Corp. Marks
A. H. Belo Corporation, publisher of The Dallas
Morning News and the Texas Almanac, has a history par-
allel to that of Texas itself. Pioneered in 1842 as the one-
page Galveston News, Belo has grown to become a lead-
ing southwestern media company, encompassing both
newspaper publishing and network-affiliated television
broadcasting operations across the country.
Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 1992, A. H. Belo
Corporation is the oldest continuously operating busi-
ness in Texas. Founded by Samuel Bangs, a transplanted
publisher from Boston, the company was in the pub-
lishing business three years before the Republic of Texas
achieved statehood. Bangs sold the business within a
year of its founding to Wilbur F. Cherry and Michael
Cronican, and Cherry soon acquired sole ownership.
Another Massachusetts emigre, Willard Richardson,
became editor of the paper a few years later. He cam-
paigned editorially for annexation, fiscal responsibility
and railroads. Soon after his campaign began, Texas
was annexed to the United States. In 1857, Richardson
conceived and founded the Texas Almanac, which he
hoped would help attract settlers to the new state. Eight
years later, he hired A. H. Belo, for whom the company
was eventually named.
A. H. Belo, a former Confederate colonel from North
Carolina, joined the company as bookkeeper. He was
made a full partner in the growing company after only
three months and carved out a new life for himself in the
Nine years later, George Bannerman Dealey, a 15-
year-old English emigrant, was hired as an office boy.
Dealey, like A. H. Belo, was full of enthusiasm and
energy. He, too, quickly moved up in the company.
Working tirelessly, Dealey made his way from office boy
to business manager and then to publisher of The Dallas
Morning News. It was Dealey who chose the then-small
settlement of Dallas as a site for a sister publication.
Dealey and several other members of the Galveston
News' staff relocated in Dallas, and the company pros-
pered and grew.
The Dallas Morning News began publication on Octo-
ber 1, 1885, with a circulation of 5,000 subscribers. After
being in operation only two months, The Dallas Morning
News acquired its first competitor, the Dallas Herald (not
to be confused with the current Dallas Times Herald).
Rather than compete with each other for subscribers,
the two newspapers combined, keeping the name of The
Dallas Morning News, but dating itself with the volume
number of the former Dallas Herald.
In 1906, on the 21st anniversary of The Dallas Morn-
ing News, Dealey gave a speech that became the motto
for the company: "Build The News upon the rock of truth
and righteousness. Conduct it always upon the lines of
fairness and integrity. Acknowledge the right of the peo-
ple to get from the newspaper both sides of every impor-
tant question." Today these words are carved in a three-
story-high space above the entrance to The Dallas Morn-
ing News. The News building, a long-standing dream of
Dealey, was completed in 1949, three years after his
Belo also was a pioneer in radio in Texas. It began
operating a 50-watt radio station, WFAA-AM, on June 26,
1922, which was the first network station in the state. The
company sold the last of its radio properties in 1987.
While Belo has grown into a multi-faceted media
entity, The Dallas Morning News remains the flagship of
its newspaper business. Growing from that original one-
page newspaper in Galveston, The Dallas Morning News
now has a total daily circulation of more than 412,000. It is
the leading newspaper in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,
and its growth is evident in the opening in 1985 of its sa-
tellite printing plant in Piano, Texas.
In 1963, Belo purchased six daily newspapers - the
Arlington Daily News, Garland Daily News, Grand Prairie
Daily News, Irving Daily News, Mid-Cities Daily News and
Richardson Daily News - and the weekly Suburban
News, since renamed Metrocrest News, which together
form the wholly-owned subsidiary Dallas-Fort Worth
Suburban Newspapers, Inc.
Belo entered the television broadcasting business in
1950 with the acquisition of its principal station WFAA-
TV, Channel 8, the ABC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The station had begun broadcasting five months earlier
December 1981 marked the beginning of a new era
in A. H. Belo Corporation's history. In that month, the
company became a publicly held entity, and its common
stock is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In
May 1987, A. H. Belo Corporation re-incorporated in the
State of Delaware, although its headquarters and opera-
tions did not move.
In 1984 Belo purchased four television stations from
Dun & Bradstreet. The company acquired VHF stations
KHOU-TV in Houston, KXTV in Sacramento, California,
KOTV in Tulsa, Oklahoma and WVEC-TV in Hampton-
Officers and Directors
Officers of A. H. Belo Corporation are Robert W. De-
cherd, chairman of the board and chief executive offi-
cer; James P. Sheehan, president and chief operating
officer; Ward L. Huey Jr., vice chairman of the board
and president/broadcast division; Michael J. McCarthy,
senior vice president, secretary and general counsel;
and Michael D. Perry, senior vice president and chief fi-
The following are members of the A. H. Belo Cor-
poration board of directors: John W. Bassett Jr., Joe M.
Dealey, Robert W. Decherd, Dealey D. Herndon, Ward
L. Huey Jr., Lester A. Levy, James M. Moroney Jr., Burl
Osborne, Reece A. Overcash Jr., Hugh G. Robinson, Wil-
liam H. Seay, James P. Sheehan, William T. Solomon,
Thomas B. Walker Jr. and J. McDonald Williams.
Officers of The Dallas Morning News are Burl
Osborne, publisher and editor; Jeremy L. Halbreich,
president and general manager; Harry M. Stanley Jr.,
senior vice president/sales and marketing; J. William
Cox, senior vice president/administration and finance;
Ralph Langer, senior vice president and executive edi-
tor; Harold F. Gaar Jr., vice president/marketing; Grov-
er D. Livingston, vice president/information
management; Frank McKnight, vice president/circu-
lation; Barry Peckham, vice president and controller;
Rena Pederson, vice president and editorial page editor;
and Richard Starks, vice president/advertising.
The principal executives of the five television oper-
ating companies are as follows: David T. Lane, senior
vice president of The Belo Broadcast Division and presi-
dent and general manager, WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort
Worth, Texas; James A. Parham, vice president and sta-
tion manager, WFAA-TV; Allan Howard, president and
general manager, KHOU-TV, Houston, Texas; James G.
Saunders, president and general manager, KXTV, Sac-
ramento, California; J. William Beindorf, president and
general manager, WVEC-TV, Hampton-Norfolk, Virgin-
ia; and Lee R. Salzberger, president and general man-
ager, KOTV, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Officers of Dallas-Fort Worth Suburban Newspa-
pers, Inc. are Daniel L. Crowe, president and chief exec-
utive officer; J. Randall Chandler, vice president/
operations; Banks Dishmon Jr., vice presi-
dent/circulation; Shawnya L. McPherson, vice presi-
Robert W. Decherd
Robert W. Decherd is chairman of the board and
chief executive officer of A. H. Belo Corporation and has
been a member of the company's board of directors
since 1976. He is the son of the late H. Ben Decherd, who
served as chairman of the board until his death in 1972.
After graduating from St. Mark's School of Texas in
Dallas, Mr. Decherd entered Harvard University. While
at Harvard, he became the first Texan to be elected
president of The Harvard Crimson, the university's daily
student newspaper. Mr. Decherd had worked previously
at Dallas-Fort Worth Suburban Newspapers, Inc., and
was a stringer for The New York Times. He graduated
cum laude from Harvard in 1973. He was elected class
orator for the class of 1973 and received the David
McCord Award for literary contributions in addition to
an honorary freshman scholarship.
Returning to Dallas, Mr. Decherd joined the man-
agement training program at The News in September
1973. After holding a series of staff positions at The News
and Belo, he was elected vice president, corporate ad-
ministration in 1979.
In February 1980, Mr. Decherd was named executive
vice president of The News, a position he held until Janu-
ary 1982. Subsequently he was elected executive vice
president of A. H. Belo Corporation, chief operat-
A. H. BELO CORPORATION
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Kingston, Mike. Texas Almanac, 1992-1993, book, 1991; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth279642/m1/61/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.