Raycom Media launches national investigative unit ; Zurik to lead

Raycom Media launches national investigative unit ; Zurik to lead

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Raycom Media, which owns WAFB-TV, has announced the launch of a new national investigative unit to be led by award winning journalist Lee Zurik.

This unique investigative unit will produce high impact, interesting and informative series of national importance with a core focus on localism.

The Raycom Media Investigative Unit will partner with local investigative units across Raycom Media, placing a spotlight on the subjects that matter to today's audience.

"We are fiercely committed to Raycom Media's long-standing tradition of localism," Pat LaPlatney, Raycom Media President and CEO emphasized. "This unique partnership of a national investigative unit, partnered with local investigative units, will create projects across the Raycom Media group with broad relevance and bearing to our local stations and their viewers."

"We are going to make a difference in our communities," stated Lee Zurik, Director of Investigations for The Raycom Media Investigative Unit. "We will be taking subjects outside of the 'beltway of Washington' mentality of the national news networks and answering the viewers' biggest concern: how does this affect me and my family here in Cleveland, Baton Rouge, Cape Girardeau or Charleston?"

The Raycom Media Investigative Unit has the resources to place a spotlight on issues that range from abuses in government spending, consumer protection, public safety, tax policy, job creation, health care, infrastructure and immigration. Utilizing Raycom Media's large footprint of broadcast and digital streams and audiences, viewers will be able to access investigations in long form documentary style or shorter segments on the platform of their choosing.

"We know Lee is the right person to head this national investigative unit," said Raycom Media Vice President of News, Steven Ackermann. "Lee's work, along with his team, have brought national recognition to WVUE. The team has been honored for its investigative work with eight National Murrow Awards, two Dupont Awards, and a Peabody. The Scripps Howard Foundation just recognized last fall's series, Medical Waste. Lee has worked with Raycom Media Investigative Reporters on several recent projects, including a company-wide investigation into dangers created by railroad tankers and a college-by-college analysis of national reports detailing student loan debt. In addition to his important work with this new unit, Lee will continue to anchor and report for WVUE-TV."

The Raycom Media Investigative Unit will work with an internal Board of Directors, consisting of top journalists from across the company, including station reporters along with a station News Director and a station General Manager. Accountability and factual investigative journalism have never been more important. Journalism holds the powerful, whether an individual or institution, responsible to all of us.

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