Ownership Of Hartford's FOX 61 Changes Under Media Mega-Deal | Connecticut Public Radio

Ownership Of Hartford's FOX 61 Changes Under Media Mega-Deal

Sep 17, 2019

Federal regulators have approved a merger involving media groups that run two local TV stations.

Nexstar, the media group that runs WTNH News 8, will take over Tribune Media. As part of the deal, Nexstar has agreed to sell off Hartford’s FOX 61 in order to observe FCC guidelines that limit ownership of multiple media outlets in a local market.

FOX 61 will now be owned by Tegna Inc., a group that owns 51 television and four radio stations in 53 markets.

“Each station ownership group has their own graphics package, their own music, their own style of news and when a new owner takes over a station, they tend to turn the station into what they think a good newscast should be,” said Ben Bogardus, an assistant professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University.

Bogardus said that change will manifest itself in the way the news is delivered.

“You can look for perhaps changes in anchors eventually as contracts end,” Bogardus said. “You may see some changes in the style of newscast and the type of news that they cover.”

As far as the FOX 61 brand is concerned, Bogardus believes that won’t change -- at least in the short-term.