published Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Gerber: Newspaper reporters to hit airwaves

You’re used to seeing the names of Times Free Press reporters in print and online every day.

Starting Monday, our reporters will also be heard over the radio airwaves. A team of reporters will provide news updates Monday through Friday on Sunny 92.3, Q-97.3, 99.3 and Fox Sports 1370. Each weekday in the morning, at noon and at 5 p.m., a reporter from the paper will give brief newscasts on the biggest and most interesting stories of the day.

The news that we’ll be going on air met with many a comment in the newsroom about how we all became newspaper journalists because we don’t have TV faces or radio voices. But James Howard and Kim Carson, Sunny 92.3’s morning personalities, eased any trepidation by offering advice to the reporters on how to read a news update.

They told the reporters to just be natural and sound like themselves.

So that’s what you’ll hear starting Monday at 5:30 a.m.

Some reporters took quickly to the task. Political reporter Chris Carroll is a natural on air. But he’s got broadcast in his DNA — his father is David Carroll, a reporter at WRCB Channel 3, and his mother, Cindy Carroll, who works in the communications and public relations department at UTC, is a former radio news reporter.

In addition to Chris, crime reporter Kate Harrison and education reporter Kevin Hardy will start giving news updates this week. Next week, more reporters will be on air.

The partnership with the Times Free Press makes good sense, said Danny Howard, station manager/director of programming for all four radio stations. It falls in line with the stations’ commitment to providing news to their listeners and makes use of “the tremendous amount of content that the Times Free Press provides,” he said.

“No other news organization comes close to the kind of coverage the Times Free Press provides, and we felt it would be the best way to inform our listening audience and help the [newspaper] extend its brand into the audio format,” Howard said.

The paper also has a partnership with WRCB Channel 3. We share stories, especially those that run on our websites. We use Channel 3’s videos and sometimes cooperate on news stories.

At one time, exchanging content with other members of the media would have been unheard of. Newspapers and radio and TV stations were practically mortal enemies.

But in the Internet age, readers, viewers and listeners have so many choices about where to get their news.

As a result, how media companies gather and distribute news has changed dramatically.

So the partnerships now make sense and are fairly common. They’re a way to get our stories and other content out to more people.

And, at the end of the day, informing as many people as possible is our goal.

Alison Gerber is the managing editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Reach her at agerber@timesfreepress.com.

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