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About FOX61 WTIC

FOX61: A look back in time

1979 – Arnold Chase, whose father owned WTIC radio at the time, decides to build an independent TV station after seeing “The China Syndrome,” which stars Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas as broadcast journalists.

1983 – Arch Communications, owned by Chase, receives a construction permit. Chase originally wanted to use the call letters WETG to honor the late Governor Ella T. Grasso who had recently died. Another station had those call letters and Chase went with WTIC. WTIC had been used by what is now WFSB until 1974.  The letters originally represented Travelers Insurance Company.

1984 – The station is constructed in One Corporate Center at 20 Church St. in Hartford, which is also known as the Stilts building, because the tower is on stilts over the base where the studios are located. The transmitter is located on Rattlesnake Mountain in Farmington.

The station is the first in New England to broadcast a stereo audio signal when it goes on the air September 17, 1984 with a gala event hosted by TV star Eddie Albert and veteran radio host Bob Steele, with former President Jimmy Carter in attendance.

Albert starred in two shows shown on the station, “Switch,” and “Green Acres.” The station also broadcasts reruns and syndicated programming. The station signs off the air at night with the traditional “Star Spangled Banner” and a dedication to Ella Grasso.

1986 – WTIC becomes one of the first Fox affiliates in the country as the network launches on October 9, 1986 with one program, “The Late Show” with Joan Rivers. However financial problems lead to litigation and eventually, the station is acquired by Chase Communications which owned the radio stations.

1987 – In April, WTIC carries the first night of Fox Network programming including “Married With Children,” and “The Tracy Ullman Show.”

1989 – “The News At 10” premieres on April 10, 1989. The thirty minute broadcast airs Monday through Friday anchored by Pat Sheehan and Beth Carroll with Rich Coppola on sports and Roger Griswold on weather. Not long after, it expands to the weekend.

1992 – Chase Communications merges with Renaissance Communications which owns several other stations around the country, including WTXX in Waterbury. WTXX is sold off to a non-profit religious group. WTIC begins identifying as Fox 61.

1994 – As the Fox Network acquires rights to NFL football, Fox 61 Sports premieres a thirty minute sports program at 10:30 p.m. Sunday night, bringing the total news programming to four hours a week.

1995 – In June the “News at 10” expanded to an hour show which included a long format interview segment, “Tonight in Connecticut.” Within several months, the format was changed and the newscast was extended to the full hour.

1997 – Renaissance Communications is acquired by Tribune Broadcasting.

1999 – The News At Ten is awarded its first Emmy award for Team Effort for coverage of the shootings at the Connecticut Lottery Headquarters.

2000 – Tribune and Times-Mirror, owners of The Hartford Courant and other papers, merge. The news department wins its second Team Effort Emmy for coverage of the funerals of the six Worcester Firefighters.

2001-2007 – WTXX is purchased by Tribune and moves its operations to the WTIC studios in Hartford in 2001. Fox 61 staff win numerous awards including the Mark Twain Award for station excellence from the Associated Press. The news team win several Team Effort Emmy awards including ones for coverage of OpSail 2000 and the efforts to save the Submarine Base in New London.

2008 – The Fox 61 Morning Show premieres on March 3 with Logan Byrnes, Rebecca Stewart, Joe Furey and Rachel Lutzker. The show runs two hours at first, and the following year, expands to four and a half hours. The 11 p.m. newscast was launched, as well as an 11 a.m. show.

2009 – Fox 61 merges operations with The Hartford Courant and moves to the Courant building at 285 Broad Street. The fully HD studio goes on air December 12, 2009.

2010 – Fox 61 becomes Fox CT as the analog to digital broadcast transition occurs. The station’s website, fox61.com is changed to CTNow.com. The station wins another Team Effort Emmy award for it’s coverage of the death of station employee, Alice Morrin, and conjunction with The Courant, focuses on coverage of domestic violence issues.

The 4 p.m. newscast debuted on August 23.

2011 – The weekend morning news premieres in January, airing from 7 to 9 a.m. It is later expanded to three hours, starting at 6 a.m. The weekday morning news program is expanded to start at 4:30 a.m., and two years later is expanded to start at 4 a.m.

2013 – The 5 p.m. news is launched and the station’s website is changed to FoxCT.com.

2014 – Fox CT and The Hartford Courant split operations when Tribune spins off its print properties. The Courant moves to different area in the building at 285 Broad St. and television operations are consolidated on the third floor.

Fox CT Reveals New Studio A

2015 - The station goes back to FOX61 and FOX61.com.

2019 - The station expands its Morning News to run from 4am to 11am.

About TEGNA

WTIC FOX61 is owned and operated by TEGNA Inc., an innovative media company that serves the greater good of its communities. Across platforms, TEGNA delivers relevant and trusted content by telling empowering stories, conducting impactful investigations and providing innovative and unparalleled solutions for advertisers through TEGNA Marketing Solutions. For more information, visit www.TEGNA.com.

Mission and Coverage Priorities

MISSION

TEGNA’s purpose is to serve the greater good of our communities.
We will provide the news and information that people need to function as effective citizens.
We will seek solutions as well as expose problems and wrongdoing.
We will provide editorial and community leadership.
We will seek to promote understanding of complex issues.
We will be advocates for our communities.

DIVERSE VOICES

At TEGNA, you will find people from all backgrounds, interests and abilities, united by a common purpose to make a difference in our work, our company and our community.

We are committed to making editorial decisions with input from a variety of voices that reflect our community. We seek sufficient understanding of the communities, individuals and stories we cover to inform the public. We are persistent in pursuit of the whole story.

DIVERSITY STAFFING REPORT

At TEGNA, we believe that attracting a talented and diverse workforce is one of the keys to our success. We strive to create for our employees an environment which offers professional and intellectual challenges, which encourages innovation and creativity, and which rewards success and effective teamwork. Read our latest EEO Diversity Report.

Ethics, Standards and Practices

ETHICS

TEGNA is committed to the highest ethical standards and dedicated to the principles of truth, independence, fair play and integrity. These principles apply to everything we do, from gathering content to reporting and producing content. Read TEGNA’s Principles of Ethical Journalism.

TEGNA journalists observe the following principles:

INDEPENDENCE

We will remain free of outside interests, investments, business relationships or personal relationships that may compromise the credibility of our news reports.
We will seek to avoid potential conflicts of interest and promptly disclose any that arise.
We do not accept gifts, meals or entertainment from any individuals or organizations that may be covered by our stations.
We do not allow sponsors of news to determine, change or restrict content.
We do not make political contributions, participate in political advocacy or publicly share political views.

TRANSPARENCY

We are transparent about paid or sponsored content.
We clearly identify and differentiate commentary from news.
We will explain our journalistic processes to our audience.

PUBLIC INTEREST

We will uphold and defend the First Amendment.
We will be vigilant watchdogs of government and institutions that affect the public.
We will fight to insure the public’s business is conducted in public.

FAIRNESS

We will treat people with dignity, respect and compassion.
We will be fair with people unaccustomed to dealing with the media. (*)
We will seek all sides relevant to a story.
(Also diverse voices)

INTEGRITY

We will act honorably, transparently and ethically in dealing with news sources, the public and our colleagues.
We will obey the law.
We will not skew facts, distort reality or sensationalize events (ETHICS).
We will not manipulate images or sound in misleading ways.
We will not present images that are reenacted without informing the audience.
We will use hidden cameras or similar techniques only if there is no other way to tell a significant story effectively, and only with news management approval.
We will respect the copyrights of others.

VERIFICATION & FACT-CHECKING

We report the news accurately, thoroughly and in context on all platforms. We vet sources, verify facts and challenge assumptions before reporting news. We hold factual information on all platforms to the same standards of accuracy.
We are honest. We do not mislead sources, story subjects or the public.
We attribute information received from others, and we are transparent with sourcing. We do not plagiarize.
We do not misstate our identity or intentions. We keep our word.
We do not intentionally slant the news.
We value being right over being fast.

UNNAMED SOURCES

We will use unnamed sources as the sole basis for reporting only as a last resort when it best serves the public’s right to know, and only with prior news management approval.

CORRECTIONS

We will make corrections promptly and proportionate to the original reporting.

CONTACT US

MASTHEAD/EDITORIAL LEADERSHIP

Click here to meet our Editorial Leadership team

ACTIONABLE FEEDBACK

We value feedback from our community, including story ideas as well as comments and corrections on our coverage. Click on the appropriate link below to route your feedback to the correct team in our newsroom.

Contact Information

NEWSROOM CONTACT INFORMATION

Connect/Contact

Trust Project Participation

TEGNA is proud to be a participant in the Trust Project. The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations collaborating to use transparency to build a more trustworthy and trusted press. For more information visit https://thetrustproject.org/.

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