The Hartford Courant, Connecticut’s largest newspaper, and WTIC-TV, one of the largest local broadcast networks in the state, are trying to integrate their operations “across the board,” the Courant reports.
“Print and television journalists will help one another on stories,” reports the Courant, which is now sharing office space with WTIC. “Senior managers now have multiple responsibilities for print, television and online operations to encourage cooperation.”
The initiative is, of course, aimed at reducing costs. But executives at parent company Tribune Co. say they think the plan will result in more, not less, journalism.
There are no planned layoffs because of the merger-that-isn’t-really-a-merger, but execs aren’t ruling out cutting jobs from where duties overlap.
The plan to combine has also drawn criticism from those concerned about consolidation of media outlets, the Courant reports. In April, Connecticut state attorney general Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter to Tribune CEO Sam Zell saying that the integration might violate a federal antitrust law. Zell said that the Courant and WTIC will retain independent news judgment. The media companies are currently operating under a temporary waiver.