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Published: Sunday, 8/26/2012

Partnership reforged between Blade, WTVG

BLADE STAFF

The Blade and WTVG-TV, Channel 13 have entered in a new partnership that will provide the two news organizations some synergy on news reporting but also see them working together on business-related projects and community events.

"We have not gone that deep before," Joseph H. Zerbey IV, president and general manager of The Blade, said of the partnership that begins today. "Usually these partnerships are just on the news side."

But Mr. Zerbey said WTVG will be involved with The Blade in marketing efforts and as full partners in several promotional events. "On the Fourth of July and the Holiday Parade and promoting our Web microsites, they're going to be with us," he added.

WTVG President and General Manager John Christianson said that "we are honored to partner with a news organization such as The Blade. Their commitment to journalistic excellence is second to none. By combining the resources of The Blade and 13abc Action News, we'll be able to better serve all of our viewers and the local communities. It's our goal to provide the very best news, weather, and sports information to our loyal viewers each and every day, and the new Blade partnership is one more way that enhances that commitment."

Brian Trauring, the executive news director of WTVG, added that "the winners in this partnership will be news consumers in the Toledo region. The Blade is an award-winning news organization with an impressive record of journalistic excellence. The arrangement will strengthen both 13abc and The Blade. We will both compete to break stories while combining resources in other aspects to provide superior news coverage."

The two news organizations previously were partners on the news side between March, 2005, and August, 2008.

Kurt Franck, executive editor of The Blade, said, "We are pleased to resume our partnership with Channel 13. Our news philosophies are in sync, particularly in the amount of resources devoted to government and political coverage. And we want to partner on other community projects as well."

Mr. Trauring said that "we always hoped that we would be able to re-start the partnership. We couldn't be more pleased."

The joint efforts will take place in phases.

It will start with political convention coverage.

Both WTVG and The Blade will have journalists at this week's Republican National Convention in Tampa. Channel 13 plans to have on-camera interviews with Blade politics writer Tom Troy regarding his insights on the convention, Mr. Trauring said. At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next month, the Blade's Columbus Bureau Chief Jim Provance will provide on-air interviews. Additionally, 13abc's convention coverage will be featured on the Blade'stoledoblade.com Web site.

Also, 13abc has begun providing weather forecast information to The Blade and toledoblade.com, with local forecasts prepared by 13abc's chief meteorologist Jay Berschback. Mr. Berschback will appear on The Blade's daily weather page and the newspaper's Web site.



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