Tribune snuggles Hartford cross-media assets


Fox WTIC-TV 61, one of two Tribune television stations in the Hartford DMA, is getting ready to move into a brand new HD studio – which just happens to share space with the news staff of Tribune’s Hartford Courant newspaper.

According to the Courant, “Reporters, producers and videographers for Fox 61 will work side by side with reporters, editors and photographers at The Courant…” The new proximity of the two news staffs is said to be the beginning of an “…aggressive plan to integrate their operations across the board.” This includes internet operations as well as broadcast and print.

Reporters from both will work together on stories, and senior management will be overseeing all three media and encouraging cooperation.

Tribune calls the threesome CT 1 Media, and says the focus is on creating more, not less, coverage. The ultimate goal is to find a way to produce quality journalism and at the same time turn a profit. A $6M upfront investment has been required to get the newsroom ready for its new occupants.

Tribune’s other Hartford television station is CW WTXX.

RBR-TVBR observation: Hartford is not a top-20 Nielsen DMA, making this combination waiver-dependent even if former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s top-20 benchmark for legalizing cross-ownership is eventually accepted. There figure to be plenty of fireworks on the cross-ownership topic as the FCC’s quadrennial review proceeds in 2010.