The publisher of the Hartford Courant has been ousted, and the paper’s operations are to merge with sister TV stations WTIC and WTXX.
The Courant and the two TV stations are both owned by the Chicago based Tribune Company, which says the print and broadcast operations will come together as a combined entity, and be housed at the Courant’s building. Courant publisher Steve Carver will leave the paper after what’s termed a short transition period, and the new operation will be run by Richard Graziano, who’s currently General Manager of the TV stations. The Courant has been through two recent rounds of layoffs, has lost half of its newsroom staff in the last year. Graziano says he can’t guarantee there will be no more layoffs, but the aim of the merger is not primarily to cut costs.
"The rationale behind merging the newsrooms is really to build momentum on what is already the largest newsroom in Connecticut. And by putting together Fox 61’s newsroom with the Hartford Courant, we hope to cover news in the state with greater depth and separate ourselves within this market."
Construction of a new TV studio within the Courant’s newsroom is expected to begin this summer, and Fox61 will add two new newscasts at noon and 6pm. Executives say the merger will also allow them to offer a more streamlined service for advertisers.