Television Station Owner Trims 401(k) Match

Dallas-based television station owner Belo Corp. has suspended the company’s 401(k) match, trimmed some salaries, and cut its workforce because of the slumping economy.

The company announced in a statement that the cost-cutting moves would be effective in mid April.

According to the firm, in addition to the match suspension, it was also:

  • cutting managers’ salary by 5%
  • carrying out a company-wide staff reduction of approximately 150 positions.

“As a result of these actions, and other measures previously implemented, we expect 2009 cash operating expenses to be approximately 10% lower than 2008, excluding severance costs,” said Dunia Shive, Belo’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Belo owns 20 television stations.

According to media reports of the announcement, 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 steps last year.