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Newspaper, TV Converge in Hartford

Reporters from Tribune’s WTIC Hartford and the daily Hartford Courant will start working side by side this week, reports the Hartford Courant, and helping one another on stories. Senior managers are overseeing print, TV and Web, on Rich Graziano’s watch.

Reports the Courant:

The combination is a rare example of a metro newspaper and an existing network-affiliate TV news outlet joining forces in the same newsroom, under the same management. While the strategy isn’t unique - the Tampa Tribune and WFLA-TV did it in 2000 - the Fox 61-Courant project is an attempt to the take the integrated model to a new level.

“This is a solution that may help two individual companies that are, quite frankly, in a serious situation if they don’t change,” said Jeffrey S. Levine, who oversees content across three platforms: newspaper, television and Internet.

Time will tell if the two cultures can work side by side, and if the arrangement means more–or less-local coverage in the Nutmeg State.

The cultural differences between print and television reporters will make the combination tricky, said Rich Hanley, assistant professor of journalism and director of the graduate journalism program at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

“There are a lot of snakes in this bag,” Hanley said. “Management has to tread carefully and know the distinctions between how each produces news and how the audience consumes news.”