Statement on the changes to the Connecticut Radio Network, a division of CRN International Inc., by Barry Berman, President, CRN International
It is with great sadness that we are discontinuing the daily news service operation of the Connecticut Radio Network, effective June 9, shortly after the end of the current legislative session June 7. The network plans to continue producing “Dialogue,” the long-running weekly news interview program, and covering some major events.
Throughout the past two decades, as a result of the continuing deregulation of the broadcast industry, many local radio stations in larger Connecticut cities have been sold to national corporations with diminished appetites for news and local programs. The closing of our daily operation reflects that market shift.
The Connecticut Radio Network has played an important role in informing the entire state about critical issues facing us all as so many things that affect the quality of our lives come out of our state government: education, health, taxation, assistance for those in need, infrastructure.
The state legislature resumed meeting annually in 1972, and it was clear to us that much of what was important to people’s day-to-day lives was influenced by state government. That was the spark that created the Connecticut Radio Network (then called Connecticut Public Information Network), as there was no radio coverage outside of Hartford at that time. The network covered the election of the first woman governor, Ella Grasso, and the enactment of the state income tax under Gov. Lowell Weicker. We’ve covered blizzards, hurricanes and other natural and man-made phenomena that have had a major impact on the people of Connecticut.
“Dialogue” was our first production and is one of the longest running radio programs in the state. It has broken major state and national stories that have reverberated throughout the years. Guests have included every Connecticut governor since Thomas Meskill and then-presidential candidates including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush.
During the years, the Connecticut Radio Network broadcast UConn football and basketball games, and provided radio stations with coverage of the Greater Hartford Open, the state’s only PGA tournament. We provided Ski Watch, the only independent ski report of its time, and other programming.
The network has served as a beacon of quality and commitment and has been a continuous example for all the work CRN International has produced in these many decades and for journalists everywhere.
The Connecticut Radio Network staff, led by State Capitol news dean Steve Kotchko, has personified this effort and has demonstrated a wide range of values, ethics and professionalism.
Steve’s experienced team of Mark Sims, Bruce Verlato and John Gill in particular has amplified and exemplified the network for decades in ways that made and will make us proud for the rest of our days.
We’d like to thank our affiliates, which stayed with us these many years going back to 1973.
CRN International, a national radio and audio marketing company, will continue to grow its core business providing major marketers with non-traditional audio-based campaigns that solve their specific business objectives in worldwide markets important to them. The company recently launched a podcast division, Collisions, and has produced podcasts in partnerships with Hearst; Live Nation; sportscaster Dick Stockton; ADHD specialist Dr. Ned Hallowell; and bookseller Roxanne Coady.