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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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March 20, 2008 11:13 AM

Melding media

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Tribune is consolidating its South Florida television station and newspaper into a single location. WSFL, a CW affiliate, will be moving into the South Florida Sun-Sentinel building.

The fact that Tribune is allowed to own a television station in the same market as the Sun-Sentinel is bad policy. According to a story in the Sun-Sentinel, the newspaper's executives are saying that this arrangement will be good for advertisers and will put the media outlets in a better position to attract a younger audience.

"The broadcast collaboration also is designed to broaden the Sun-Sentinel's audience, particularly for younger viewers who favor CW programming such as One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl. The newspaper will work with the TV station, and with online operations to develop unique content and programming. About 40 CW workers will move to the Sun-Sentinel headquarters building by the end of June."

The newspaper industry has not figured out how to lure and keep young readers. This melding is not the answer. I would bet that by having some kind of content tied into vapid night time soaps is not going to turn non-newspaper reading youths into tomorrow's subscribers.

The story does not say how this new housing arrangement will benefit advertisers. If there was a benefit to a Sun-Sentinel/WSFL advertising package, why has it not worked. Tribune owns both outlets. Why do they need to be in the same location to produce enhanced advertising options? This has long been an argument by the pro-consolidation crowd. If consolidation is the answer, then why are the companies with multiple news outlets in a market struggling like the rest of the news industry? At best this is a cost saving move.

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