TV stations to launch series on economic issues

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Viewers served by Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. are being served up a new series on economic issues, which  combines reports on business and individual efforts to weather the recession, as well as advice on saving money.

The series, “Project Economy,” launched Wednesday and will appear throughout the year on the company's television stations, including Portland, ME, and Honolulu, and associated Web sites. The company, majority owned by the Hearst Corp., owns 26 television stations and manages an additional three television and two radio stations, which it said reach about 18% of US households.

The on-air/online series will document job-seekers' efforts to find employment and report on local businesses' struggles to ride out the recession, according to the company.

The stations also will conduct job fairs, many in partnership with their respective state unemployment offices, to help viewers and online users find jobs.

“The emphasis will be on localism, and our objective is to serve as the local source in our markets for economic news and information,” said Brian Bracco, SVP of news for Hearst-Argyle Television, in a statement. “The economic downturn has impacted various regions differently, and each station will be focusing on its local viewers' needs and concerns with a daily commitment to economic coverage within newscasts and other forums.”

Stations will also be able to create online communities with interactive components, such as resume-writing advice, user-generated content and guest bloggers to complement local economic headlines and aggregated content from the stations.

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