Local News

WRAL-TV and The News & Observer Announce Partnership

Posted June 6, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— WRAL-TV5 and The News & Observer, two of North Carolina's leading news organizations, have joined forces to create a series of online projects that will draw on the companies' combined strengths.

The online ventures will debut on Sunday, June 15, with the introduction ofncstormtrack.com, an online weather tracking site designed to provide increased coverage of hurricanes and other storms. This fall, the companies will start an online site devoted to high school sports, which has been a focus of both the television station's and newspaper's news coverage for many years.

Although the partnership will start with specific projects like the stormtrack site (http://ncstormtrack.com) and the high school sports site, the companies hope to expand their joint efforts over the next year in the online arena.

Both The News & Observer and WRAL have their own online news and information sites that have been in operation for more than a year. Officials with the companies said they've been talking for several months about how to work together on projects that will make use of their complementing strengths.

"WRAL brings tremendous experience in quick and insightful news coverage and in weather reporting in particular," said Anders Gyllenhaal, The News & Observer's executive editor. "When you put that together with the paper's depth and experience online, we think we can do some tremendous things."

Tom Allen, vice president and general manager of WRAL, said "There's no question that, together, we can provide an unparalleled community service, and it benefits everyone in North Carolina who relies on us for regional online news and information."

The online market in the Triangle is becoming very competitive, with a lot of that competition coming from big national companies moving into our area," said Fred Crisp, The News & Observer's publisher. "This partnership is aimed at making sure that we both remain the leaders in the new field of online news."

Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company with headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. The company owns and operates WRAL-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 of North Carolina, all in Raleigh, WJZY-TV in Charlotte, and the Durham Bulls Baseball Club. The company brokers WRAZ-TV in Raleigh and WFVT-TV in Charlotte.

The News & Observer, published in Raleigh, N.C., for 102 years, prints approximately 160,000 newspapers each weekday and 210,000 newspapers each Sunday. The newspaper is owned by McClatchy Newspapers, Inc., the nation's 13th largest newspaper company with a combined average daily circulation of 972,600 and average Sunday circulation of 1,175,000. McClatchy Newspapers, headquartered in Sacramento, California, publishes 12 daily and 15 non-daily newspapers in western coastal states and North and South Carolina, including The Sacramento Bee, the Anchorage Daily News, The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) and The News & Observer. McClatchy also owns other media-related business.