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Hearst Television Renews PolitiFact Partnership

Also Launches Exclusive Series of Issues-Discussion Town Halls Throughout New Hampshire

Follows 2012 Efforts Resulting in 250 Hours of Political Coverage, an iTunes Store-Topping Election App and a 7th Consecutive Cronkite Award  

NEW YORK, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hearst Television Inc., parent of one of the country's largest television station groups and a Peabody- and Cronkite-award-winning leader in television and digital political journalism, today announced it renewed its successful alliance with PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times.

Hearst's election-year alliance with PolitiFact, launched in January 2012 and marking the first such national partnership between the fact-checking organization and a major TV station group, resulted in weekly fact-checking reports throughout the Hearst station group – in addition to regular local fact-checking segments independent of the PolitiFact partnership.  In one recurring feature of the exclusive partnership, Hearst Television's Washington, D.C., Bureau produced segments on PolitiFact's fact-checking about the presidential campaign using the website's much-discussed "Truth-O-Meter."  

Additionally, Hearst is launching a series of statewide town hall discussions, called "Leaders Listen," throughout New Hampshire.  The events will feature New Hampshire politicians at all levels and will be live-streamed on WMUR.com and subsequently covered on WMUR-TV newscasts.  This series of off-election-year town halls unprecedented in New England politics is designed to let elected officials answer voters' questions.  Separately, WMUR.com political director James Pindell will provide "Watching Washington" reports, focusing on New Hampshire's Congressional delegation, every Thursday during the 5p.m. news hour.

Hearst Television owns Manchester-based WMUR-TV, New Hampshire's leading television station and regular co-host to the state's quadrennial presidential primary debates. 

"Conventional wisdom may hold that television stations relax political news coverage during non-election years, but the reality is different," said David Barrett, Chairman and CEO of Hearst Television Inc.  "Increasingly, politics never sleeps, and television broadcasters do an outstanding job covering the issues year-in and year-out.  These latest efforts reflect our own continuing commitment to ensure that legislators and regulators whose decisions impact our communities will get a forum, and that their statements and activities will receive the analysis they warrant."

"The need to hold politicians accountable doesn't end with election day, so we're thrilled to extend our partnership with Hearst in 2013," said PolitiFact Editor Bill Adair. "Our Truth-O-Meter fact-checking is as important when politicians are governing as it is when they are campaigning."

The 2013 efforts come on the heels of Hearst's presidential election-year  Commitment 2012, a project encompassing the Company's 25 news-producing TV stations, and their respective local websites and mobile sites, resulting in, among other accomplishments:

  • 250 hours of political coverage during the year;
  • 69 debates and political specials;
  • An Election 2012 app that by election day reached not only #1 among all iTunes free News apps, but #2 among free iPhone apps overall -- surpassing those from CNN, The New York Times, Fox News and the candidates' own apps;
  • Four major political investigations on these topics:
    • The state of Medicare;
    • The impact of increased lobbying by tech giants including Microsoft, Google and Facebook;
    • A comparison of job-creation legislative proposals vs. those actually debated and brought to a vote; and
    • The impact of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision on the election-year discourse; and
  • Hearst Television's seventh consecutive group-wide Walter Cronkite Award, announced March 5, bestowed by the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for excellence in television political journalism.

About Hearst Television
Hearst Television, a national multi-media company, owns and operates 29 local television stations and two local radio stations, serving 30 U.S. cities and reaching approximately 18% of U.S. television households.  The TV stations broadcast 60 video channels, featuring local and national news, weather, information, sports and entertainment programming, and local community service-oriented programs.  The stations also host and operate digital on-line and mobile platforms that extend the company's brands and content to local, national and international audiences.  Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry's premier companies, and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service.  Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst Corporation.  The Company's Web address is www.hearsttelevision.com.

About PolitiFact
PolitiFact.com was launched in 2007 to fact-check the presidential campaign. In 2009, the site began fact-checking pundits and talk show hosts and created a new feature, the Obameter, to track President Obama's 500-plus campaign promises. With partnerships in 10 states, PolitiFact has created the largest political fact-checking effort in U.S. history. The website has received numerous awards, including the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. The site is a product of the Tampa Bay Times, Florida's largest newspaper, with an average circulation of 379,375 Sunday and 313,003 daily (ABC FAS-FAX September 2012). Considered one of the top ten newspapers in the country, the Tampa Bay Times has eight Pulitzer Prizes to its name.

SOURCE Hearst Television Inc.

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