Rule Change Lets Ex-Trammel Crow Chief Stay On Belo Board

By: Mark Fitzgerald

J. McDonald Williams, the chairman emeritus to the huge Dallas-based commercial real estate development firm Trammel Crow Company, was reelected to a three-year term as a director of Belo Corp. at the media company’s annual meeting Tuesday, one day after the board changed its bylaws to ensure he would eligible for reelection in another three years.

In its 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, Belo said its board had amended its bylaws “increasing the age at which a director is no longer eligible to stand for election from 65 to 68.” Williams is 63, according to Belo’s proxy statement for the meeting. Williams, known as Don, was Trammell Crow’s chairman from 1994 to 2002.

At the meeting held at the historic Belo Mansion just outside downtown Dallas, the newspaper publisher and television broadcaster also reelected Belo Chairman, President, and CEO Robert W. Decherd, 53, to a three-year term. Also reelected to three-year terms were France A. Cordova, 57, chancellor of the University of California Riverside; Laurence E. Hirsch, 59, chairman of Eagle Materials Inc.; and M. Anne Szostak, 54, former executive vice president of Fleet Boston Financial.

In Monday’s SEC filing, Belo also said that on May 3 it entered into a $1 billion variable-rate five-year revolving credit facility with JPMorgan Chase Bank. The credit facility replaced a previous $720,000 credit facility, which it said was paid off May 3.

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