The online ventures will debut on Sunday, June 15, with the introductionofncstormtrack.com, an online weather tracking sitedesigned to provide increased coverage of hurricanes and other storms.This fall, the companies will start an online site devoted to high schoolsports, which has been a focus of both the television station's andnewspaper's news coverage for many years.
Although the partnership will start with specific projects like thestormtrack site (http://ncstormtrack.com) and the high school sports site,the companies hope toexpand their joint efforts over the next year in the online arena.
Both The News & Observer and WRAL have their own online news andinformation sites that have been in operation for more than a year.Officials with the companies said they've been talking for several monthsabout how to work together on projects that will make use of theircomplementing strengths.
"WRAL brings tremendous experience in quick and insightful newscoverage and in weather reporting in particular," said Anders Gyllenhaal,The News & Observer's executive editor. "When you put that together with thepaper's depth and experience online, we think we can do some tremendousthings."
Tom Allen, vice president and general manager of WRAL, said "There's noquestion that, together, we can provide an unparalleled community service,and it benefits everyone in North Carolina who relies on us for regionalonline news and information."
The online market in the Triangle is becoming very competitive, with alot of that competition coming from big national companies moving into ourarea," said Fred Crisp, The News & Observer's publisher. "This partnershipis aimed at making sure that we both remain the leaders in the new fieldof online news."
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communicationscompany with headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. The company owns and operatesWRAL-TV, WRAL OnLine, WRAL-FM, WRAL-HD (the nation's first HDTV station),Capitol Networks, Capitol AgriBusiness, Capitol Information Services,Interpath, Microspace Communications Corporation, and Money Mailer ofNorth Carolina, all in Raleigh, WJZY-TV in Charlotte, and the DurhamBulls Baseball Club. The company brokers WRAZ-TV in Raleigh and WFVT-TV inCharlotte.
The News & Observer, published in Raleigh, N.C., for 102 years, printsapproximately 160,000 newspapers each weekday and 210,000 newspapers eachSunday. The newspaper is owned by McClatchy Newspapers, Inc., thenation's 13th largest newspaper company with a combined average dailycirculation of 972,600 and average Sunday circulation of 1,175,000.McClatchy Newspapers, headquartered in Sacramento, California, publishes12 daily and 15 non-daily newspapers in western coastal states and Northand South Carolina, including The Sacramento Bee, the Anchorage DailyNews, The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) and The News & Observer. McClatchyalso owns other media-related business.