May 24, 2011

NBCUniversal Seeking Nonprofit News Groups’ Applications

The Local Media Division of NBCUniversal announced today that it is seeking applications from nonprofit, locally-focused news organizations interested in entering into cooperative news gathering and reporting arrangements with NBC owned-and-operated TV stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Washington and Hartford-New Haven, Conn. The company said the announcement “furthers a commitment to localism made by NBC and Comcast when the companies announced the formation of their joint venture in December of 2009.”

NBC will seek to establish cooperative arrangements between nonprofit news groups and NBC local news teams. These arrangements may include a variety of elements, ranging from story development to sharing of news footage and other content resources; shared used of technical facilities and personnel; on-air opportunities; promotional and other assistance; and cross-linking/embedding of websites.

The model for these new relationships is an existing arrangement between KNSD, the NBC-owned station in San Diego and, a founding INN member nonprofit news organization that has been providing news and information to the local community for six years. Through this initiative, NBC said it is targeting the extension of the model to at least four more of its 10 Owned & Operated (O&O) stations, which will bring the number of markets participating in this initiative to at least five.

NBC said that organizations interested in applying should have “robust news gathering capabilities; a track record of accuracy, fairness and independence in their journalistic efforts; and an ability to provide diverse viewpoints and programming.”

Requests for proposals specific to each market, together with application forms and more detailed information about the application process are now available at the URLs listed below. Applications, which will be reviewed by an advisory council that will include NBC Local Media news directors, standards and policy representatives, regulatory affairs executives, and senior counsel, must be submitted by July 22. The company’s goal is identify successful candidates by the end of summer, 2011.

“We’re looking for top-notch, nonprofit news organizations that can work cooperatively with our local NBC news teams to create unique content for both their own platforms and our news platforms,” said John Wallace, president, NBC Local Media. “As we roll out the search process, we’ll focus on groups that apply the same high standards of credibility and professionalism that NBC brings to all of its news coverage. And, in keeping with our broad commitment to diversity, we’ll also be looking for outlets that represent a range of diverse communities and viewpoints in the markets they serve.”

“This initiative is a key step in addressing the commitment we made to increasing localism,” commented Rick Cotton, EVP-general counsel, NBCUniversal. “It will also help ensure that our communities have broad access to local news and information, while at the same time giving an important boost to nonprofits.”

"A good partnership optimizes the best talents of each organization and creates something powerful neither of them could do alone. This is what's happened here," said Scott Lewis, CEO of " NBC San Diego has been willing to try new, innovative ways of explaining complicated news and holding people accountable while at the same time bringing decades of broadcast experience to the table to ensure it's done right. I'm excited to see other stations and partners around the country get together and think about what they can innovate."

Details on the application process for each of the markets involved can be found at the following links:
New York City —
Los Angeles —
Chicago —
Miami —
Philadelphia —
San Francisco —
Dallas-Ft. Worth —
Washington —
Hartford-New Haven, Conn. —

The complete release from NBC and a brief video presentation can also be found at :