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04.06.2009
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Tribune brings TV stations under newspaper roof in Hartford

In an effort to save operating costs, Tribune Company will co-locate the operations of the “Hartford Courant” newspaper and its WTIC-TV (Fox) and WTXX-TV (CW Network) stations under one roof on Broad Street later this year. The move, if successful, will result in the largest print/broadcast newsgathering organization in the state of Connecticut.

Once the move is complete, WTIC-TV and WTXX-TV will begin broadcasting news from a state-of-the-art, HD studio located in the “Courant’s” newsroom. Construction of the studio is expected to begin later this summer.

“This is the future of media,” said Randy Michaels, Tribune’s chief operating officer. "Whether in print, over the air, or online — the delivery mechanism isn’t as important as the unique, rich nature of the content provided. Bringing these media properties together will enable us to bring more resources to our news coverage, improving and expanding what we can offer readers, viewers and advertisers in the area."

The combined entities will be led by Richard Graziano, senior vice president/general manager of the two television stations, who has been named publisher of the “Courant.” Graziano has overseen Tribune’s Hartford television stations since 2005, and last July was promoted to senior vice president/general manager, assuming additional oversight responsibility for the company’s stations in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The “Courant” reaches more than 800,000 consumers in print and online each week and is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United States. WTIC-TV and WTXX-TV are the only television stations remaining in Hartford that originate local news from the city.

The company said bringing the “Courant” and the television stations together will also benefit advertisers, creating a more efficient one-stop operation for print, broadcast and online ad sales.

A Tribune spokesperson said no immediate changes in staffing would occur in connection with the move.

Up until 2007, Tribune's ownership of “The Courant” and the two television stations violated the Federal Communications Commission's ban on cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast outlets in the same market. The FCC relaxed the rule in December of that year.


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