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Sun to team up with WMAR, MPT

Expanding its reach into other media platforms, The Sun has struck partnership agreements with WMAR and Maryland Public Television, and is discussing a similar deal with a TV sports programmer.

The agreements will enable the organizations to share content and resources for online, print and broadcast stories and commentaries, and should increase the visibility of Sun reporters and columnists.

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"We're increasingly living in a multimedia world," Timothy A. Franklin, editor of The Sun, said yesterday, "and it's important that we have our journalists and our content on multiple stations so that we can maximize our exposure and get more eyeballs."

The partnership with WMAR, Channel 2, Baltimore's ABC affiliate, follows an earlier, less comprehensive alliance between the two media outlets that began in February 2002 and lasted about two years.

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Now, Franklin said, The Sun will have a "breaking news relationship" with WMAR and will share content with the station on nonexclusive stories.

"Periodically, I expect that our journalists will appear on WMAR," Franklin said. "Where it makes sense, we'll share information on what we're working on, and we'll work collaboratively on stories."

WMAR was launched in 1947 by the A.S. Abell Co., which also founded and owned The Sun. Abell executives sold both properties to the Times Mirror Co. in 1986. Subsequently, each was acquired by other media companies - The Sun and Times Mirror by Tribune Co. and WMAR by E.W. Scripps Co.

More recently, The Sun had a working arrangement with NBC affiliate WBAL, Channel 11, and remains allied with WBAL's radio counterpart, at 1090 AM.

David Silverstein, who joined WMAR as news director in November, said yesterday that the station and the newspaper had been discussing a new partnership for several months. "The goal is to share resources to inform viewers and readers all over Maryland what's going on in their communities," Silverstein said. "At times, you'll see Baltimore Sun reporters on our air and on our Web site, and you'll see ABC-2 reporters contributing in some fashion to both baltimoresun.com and to The Sun."

WMAR's chief meteorologist, Norm Lewis, will contribute to The Sun's weather page. And tonight, the station will tape a "town hall" discussion on crime, set for broadcast at 7 p.m. Thursday. The panel will include Sun police reporter Annie Linskey.

Meanwhile, Maryland Public Television plans to launch in the fall a program called Your Money and Business, which will include stories and on-air appearances by Sun business journalists. It is tentatively set to make its debut Sept. 13, said Steven J. Schupak, MPT vice president for television programming.

nick.madigan@baltsun.com


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