Former TV Anchor to Jumpstart Interactive at ‘Kansas City Star’

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By: E&P Staff

The Kansas City Star has hired veteran broadcast journalist and TV anchor Dave Helling to lead the paper’s expansion on the Internet. Helling will start his new position in September.

Helling has over 25 years of experience in television, most recently as an anchor at Kansas City’s KCTV, the local CBS affiliate.

Helling told the Kansas City Star he would be involved in the newspaper’s multimedia efforts on the Web, “including video, audio, breaking news, and streaming video of important events.”

?We’re looking to expand the paper’s extraordinary skill in news gathering beyond just the printed page,? Helling, who will also serve as a reporter, told the paper.

Mark Zieman, vice president and editor of The Star, told the paper that Helling would help all of the newspaper’s departments transition into a ” multimedia marketplace.”

?In time, he also will take on his own reporting role on the Web and in our print product, bringing with him years of experience covering politics and government,? Zieman told the paper.

Zieman cited declining costs of video and audio technology as reasons why newspapers can succeed as multimedia enterprises.

?Our customers now have a dazzling array of options for consuming information,? he said, ?including blogs, text messaging, pod casts and high-speed Internet over their cell phones. We intend to be the dominant local news provider on each of them — a truly ‘platform-neutral’ news-gathering team.?

According to the report in the Star, Helling left KCTV in July over disagreements with management about the station’s trend towards tabloid-style journalism.

?I was uncomfortable with the direction of our product,? Helling told the paper. ?I wanted to go in a different direction editorially. And then I was also hoping for a new career challenge.?

Helling is known for his tough-minded coverage of City Hall and for a series in which he fact-checked claims made in campaign ads. He has received the Freedom of the Press Award from the American Civil Liberties Union and two Emmy nominations.

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