By: Katy Bachman/Mediaweek
Syndicator TRN Entertainment and The Washington Times announced Thursday a partnership to launch a new, syndicated morning drive radio show. Debuting live June 15 in about 20 markets including Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the three-hour news program will utilize all the news resources of the paper, along with a specially formed investigative unit of 10 reporters.
Crunched by the economy and secular issues, both radio and newspapers have had to seek out new business models. The partnership between the two media companies attempts to bring news back to radio stations that can no longer afford news staffs and at the same time leverage the news brand of The Washington Times.
For the Times, the partnership is part of its recently announced strategy to become a multimedia brand. Last month, the paper announced the creation of The Washington Times Radio News with an agreement to supply hourly newscasts and short features to WHFS-AM, CBS Radio’s News/Talk station in the nation’s capital.
“This is a game-changer for Talk Radio,” said Mark Masters, CEO of TRN, which syndicates a number of top-rated radio shows including Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage and Erich “Mancow” Muller. “We intend to make, break and drive the news cycle. This show will own stories other media will have to source,” he added.
The show is expected to originate in new studios at The Washington Times. Anchoring the news desk for the investigative team will be Melanie Morgan, a 23-year ABC News veteran, who recently anchored morning drive on KSFO-AM in San Francisco. Her co-anchor will be John McCaslin, a veteran broadcaster and award-winning Times journalist.
“Melanie and John will leverage every ounce of expertise, energy and gumshoe reporting out of the Times’ investigative newsroom. They know how to break stories that matter to the American public; are passionate about holding powerful [people] to account; and are committed to unearthing the stories that matter most to Americans at the dinner table, by the water cooler and inside their pocketbook,” said John Solomon, the Washington Times’ executive editor.