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Bliss Communications, WISC join forces

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Gazette Staff
August 27, 2008
— Bliss Communications and WISC-TV Channel 3 have firmed up a partnership that company managers say offers benefits for both operations and will lead to improved news coverage of Rock County.

As part of the agreement, Madison-based WISC-TV has relocated its Rock County bureau to the The Janesville Gazette newsroom in downtown Janesville. The bureau had been located in the basement of the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport terminal since it started in 1981.


Brad Chaimson, the station’s Rock County reporter, now is based in the Gazette newsroom and will file reports from there.


The partnership is similar to the “convergence” agreement the Gazette struck with the news operations of radio stations WCLO-AM 1230 and WJVL-FM 99.9 nearly two years ago. Bliss Communications owns the Gazette and the radio stations, but they previously did not share news or combine efforts. Reporters from both operations now work together to provide stronger coverage and cross-promotion, said Scott Angus, editor of the Gazette and vice president of news for Bliss Communications.


The agreement between Bliss and WISC-TV, which is owned by Morgan Murphy Media of Madison, is intended to strengthen the TV station’s presence and news report; improve news coverage for the TV station, the Gazette, the radio stations and all of their Web sites; and offer opportunities to promote each other’s work, Angus said.


“This move enhances the longtime partnership we’ve had with the Gazette and WCLO since 1981, when our Rock Country news bureau opened,” said Tom Bier, WISC-TV’s news director.


“There may be some who have seen us as competitors, but in reality we're partners, partners in providing Rock County residents with the excellent news coverage they come to expect from the Gazette, WCLO and WISC-TV,” Bier said.


Reporters from all operations will share ideas and information and occasionally work together on stories. Additionally, WISC-TV’s video of Rock County news and events will be available on the Gazette’s Web site, gazettextra.com. Angus said Gazette editors and reporters will appear on WISC-TV to offer information and perspective on local stories.


Angus said the partnership adds credibility to WISC-TV’s Rock County operation by expanding the station’s resources and experience in the form of the Gazette’s and radio stations’ staffs.


The Gazette, in particular, will benefit from sharing ideas with Chaimson and other members of WISC-TV’s staff and from the exposure provided by frequent references to the Gazette and appearances by its staff on Channel 3, he said.


“They get better news, and we get lots of promotion,” Angus said. “That’s a good deal for everybody.”



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