Will New Blog Bring WHYY, Philly.com Together?

The two media outlets are expected to collaborate in covering the mayor's race.

WHYY’s new blog covering the mayor’s race is just one piece of what could end up being a unique collaboration among Philadelphia’s most-powerful media outlets.

The blog, NinetyNine, debuted Wednesday at WHYY’s news site, NewsWorks.org, helmed by longtime Philadelphia reporter Brian Hickey. It’s expected to be the first piece of multi-platform coverage of the mayor’s race, which will ultimately be hosted at Philly.com.

“The blog will be our contribution,” said Chris Satullo, WHYY’s president for news and civic dialogue. ‘The blog will also be on Philly.com.”

Another wrinkle: The collaboration is expected to be underwritten by the Wyncote Foundation, a relatively young — it’s been around since 2009 — arrival on the Philly grantmaking scene.

“Wyncote is making a major investment in making sure there’s good in-depth public interest in coverage of the election,” Satullo said.

That effort is still being organized. A Philly.com official this week declined to comment on the record, and Wyncote officials did not return calls for comment this week. The partnership has been long-rumored, however, and Wyncote officials also declined earlier this month to offer comment.

Satullo said the NinetyNine blog will be fed by WHYY’s roster of reporters and correspondents; news on the blog will filter back out to the station’s on-air programming. A companion podcast is expected to launch soon, he said, and the station is busy trying to make sure its coverage — like Philly itself — is neighborhood-centric.

“We’re in the middle of recruiting what we hope will be a fairly nice cohort of correspondents out in the neighborhoods — essentially sentries out there who we hope to get to as many campaign events as we can,” Satullo said. “It’s always interesting to hear what the candidates say when they don’t think there’s a notebook or a microphone near.”

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