Financially troubled Tribune Broadcasting announced plans Wednesday (Feb. 4) to integrate the operations of WGN-TV and CLTV, its 24-hour cable news station, both in Chicago. Billed as an opportunity to create a television “news powerhouse,” combining the two operations under one roof is also expected to create efficiencies and save costs.
As soon as this June, all of CLTV will move into WGN-TV’s Chicago facilities, at the very least, saving Tribune the rent on CLTV’s current facility in Oak Brook, Ill. The two entities will merge newsrooms creating one assignment desk, with reporters and photographers delivering content to both brands. Whether the new arrangement will mean staff cuts, was unclear.
Tribune also touted the advantages of the combined operations to advertisers, making it easier for them to buy time on both stations and leverage messages across both media brands. The combined operation will also enable CLTV to extend its live coverage of news stories.
“We’re looking forward to collaborating with our sister station on all fronts,” said Mary Wilke, vp and general manager of WGN-TV. “This gives us a competitive advantage over the other television news operations in town and benefits viewers and advertisers as well.”