On Friday Belo CEO Robert Decherd sent this letter to his employees (full version at bottom of release), outlining the impact Katrina will have on his company. I draw your attention to this statement:
“Even more so than 9/11, Katrina will directly impact our company and require a united effort to shore up WWL [Belo’s N.O. TV station] while continuing to achieve superior journalistic and financial performance across the remainder of Belo.”
As one News person put it to me: “You could argue it is premature to get nervous. But after 9/11, Belo laid off people and cut budgets. It’s hard to ignore that Decherd chose that point of reference in this letter.” Hard to ignore indeed. But it is early. And big companies have to issue such letters when they get ready to change their guidance on how the firm will perform for the year–which Belo will have to do.