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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FOX61 and Hartford Courant Merging!

Hot off the presses...FOX61 will be sharing a roof with the Hartford Courant by the end of the year. This will make us the largest print/broadcast news-gathering
operation in Connecticut.

Here's the really exciting stuff (at least for me)...FOX61 will be going high-def from a new state-of-the-art, studio constructed in the Courant newsroom. We also plan to expand news at WTIC-TV, adding a noon and a 6 p.m. news broadcast.

Bottom-line, we'll have more resources and more man-power to cover stories in Connecticut. This comes at a time that our competition is downsizing.

In this economy advertising sales have plummeted. I know this as a fact, ALL the television stations in the Hartford market are suffering. On top of that, more and more people are turning to the internet for their news which makes ad-sales even more challenging. This merger will provide a more efficient one-stop shop allowing an advertiser's message to be seen on print, broadcast and online media. Basically, advertisers get more bang for their buck. Our combined media properties will reach 91% of the Hartford market and 79 % of Connecticut each week so advertisers will get lots of exposure.

I know what you're thinking...why should I care about ad-sales?? You should care if you like watching local news or reading the local paper. Because if ad-sales dry up for long enough, say 'bye bye' to local news outlets.

The Vice President of Tribune AND FOX61's General Manager Rich Graziano, has been named Publisher of the Courant effective immediately.

I feel really proud (and they don't pay me to say this) to be a part of this new team. I admit I was scared when our parent company Tribune filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But it seems that Tribune has a lot of faith in us.

Our goal is be moved into the Courant by Sept. 30th. From what I hear, they're just starting work on the new set now. So it seems like a stretch to be ready to put on a newscast by November but we'll see. Our company is full of surprises lately!

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