Sun, WJZ-TV to share video, reporting

The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun and WJZ-TV, Channel 13, will share content and promote each other, representatives from two of Baltimore's leading media companies announced yesterday.

Under the agreement, details of which were made available to employees at both WJZ and The Baltimore Sun yesterday afternoon, video shot for the TV station will be made available on the paper's Web site, baltimoresun.com. In addition, the TV and print newsrooms will share information and work together on future projects.

Pressured by an increasingly fragmented news market, media companies are looking for new ways to attract audience, shore up profits and compete online. Executives of The Sun and WJZ described the partnership as the most extensive of its type in this market.

"First, it means that two of the largest news organizations in the state will be collaborating daily and sharing content, so our readers and viewers will get deeper, richer coverage than they might otherwise," Baltimore Sun Editor Timothy A. Franklin said. "And this partnership is unique in that it will combine WJZ's video on our Web site with all of our own extensive stories, photos, blogs and multimedia content. This makes our Web site even more robust, and it extends WJZ's reach to the millions of readers who go to our site every week. That makes this more than your average newspaper-TV partnership."

The sharing of content between WJZ and The Baltimore Sun should begin by the end of this month, with video content from WJZ appearing on baltimoresun.com by mid-October.

"It offers the opportunity to enhance the content we deliver to our viewers, both on-air and online, and it offers us the ability to bring new and exciting opportunities to advertisers," WJZ Vice President and General Manager Jay Newman said.

Franklin said the agreement is in keeping with the goal of the newspaper's recent redesign to revitalize the paper, increase its visibility and position it for a new generation of readers.

"It will allow us, in some cases, to make our newspaper personalities even bigger, which will make the paper even more personal and three-dimensional," Franklin said. "For example, we expect to have some of our sports columnists and/or reporters on WJZ this fall analyzing the Ravens."

Other details of the agreement include featuring WJZ's First Warning Weather Team on The Baltimore Sun's weather page. The paper's bureaus will be used to enhance WJZ's regional coverage. And the newspaper's top stories will be promoted on the station's daily newscasts.

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