Daily Archives: March 30, 2009

The “Future of Media,” Tribune-Style: Local TV Newsers Take Over Print

So they just named a new publisher of the Hartford Courant.  The Courant’s a Pulitzer-Prize winner, and the nation’s oldest continuously published newspaper, according to The New York Times, and is owned by the bankrupt Tribune Company (insert your own joke there).  

So who’s taking the helm at the Courant?  It’s Richard Graziano.  His newspaper knowledge?  Uh… taking stories from the paper and making TV stories out of them, maybe?  See, Graziano’s the GM of Hartford’s WTIC and WTXX, now set to move into the Courant’s building, where Tribune plans to build a new, HD studio and expand newscasts.  You can just imagine how delighted the print guys are about their new boss and roommates, right?

WTIC/Hartford

WTIC/Hartford

Anyway, this, Tribune says, is “the future of media.”  Randy Michaels, Tribune’s COO, explains:  “Whether in print, over the air, or online–the delivery mechanism isn’t as important as the unique, rich nature of the content provided.”

In an article posted on the courant.com website, Tribune admits that its efforts to leverage print and TV ownership in other markets has been a “mixed success” and suggests that this kind of full broadcast and print meld with a TV guy running the show (and adding Publisher to his business cards) will make things work.

WTXX/Hartford

WTXX/Hartford

You might have a tough time selling that in the shell-shocked Courant newsroom, where staff has been cut nearly in half (45%) since last year, and the “future of media” apparently didn’t even come with a timetable or step-by-step owner’s manual. Kenneth Gosselin, who wrote the story for the Courant from the soon-to-be-billed “WTIC-Courant” newsroom, was forced to explain it all this way:  “The Courant remains the largest newsgathering operation covering Connecticut, and the combined WTIC-Courant newsroom will be by far the largest in the state. It remains unclear how, when and whether news reporting operations will be combined.”

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