We’ve got a big cover story on stations and investigative reporting out today. True enterprise reporting, as any news professional knows, is expensive and time consuming and often hard to justify in today’s bottom line driven media world, as evidenced by the numerous station groups that have cut back in this department.
But several groups, and stations, say it’s more important than ever in establishing the local brand, and standing out in a market where the viewers might think all the stations’ newscasts are the same.
The story takes a close look at WRC Washington, which is bringing back its I-team many years after it was scrapped.
Late last week, and after presstime, WRC reported that it had hired Tisha Thompson from WTTG to be the key reporter in its I-team. It’s a sort of homecoming for Thompson; her mother, Lea, had been part of WRC’s reporter crew years before, and one WRC manager says several staffers remember when Tisha was born.
Lea also was a reporter at Dateline.
As my story reports, the hiring of Thompson, among other key hires, indicates a real commitment from Comcast-NBCUniveral to give the owned stations the resources they need to succeed. We’ve heard a lot of talk about this, but such moves at WRC–and WMAQ Chicago and KNTV San Francisco-San Jose, among others–serve to prove the point.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.