Fox affiliate WVUE New Orleans and the Times-Picayune newspaper are partners on a month-long investigative series focused on the relationship between political donations and political influence that runs in both media throughout November. Called Louisiana Purchased, the segments air in WVUE's 10 p.m. newscasts Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and run in the Times-Picayune Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays throughout November, and 24/7 on NOLA.com.
The newspaper's first installment of the series is on the front page November 6.
WVUE, owned by Tom Benson's Louisiana Media Company, announced an investigative partnership with the Times-Picayune, owned by Advance Publications, and its associated properties in June, with "Fox 8" chief investigative reporter Lee Zurik collaborating with NOLA.com/Times-Picayune enterprise editor Manuel Torres and a range of reporters.
In putting together Louisiana Purchased, a team of 20 journalists pored over the $200-plus million given to local candidate campaigns from 2009-2012. The reports are based on some 2,400 staff hours of reporting and research.
"The concept to join forces and take on this massive investigation took time to fully shape, but eventually two incredibly talented units became one unbeatable investigative team, and great journalism resulted," said Joe Cook, president and general manager of WVUE. "The team is combining the strengths of respective platforms to deliver compelling information to citizens of Louisiana like never before. After less than one day, the buzz is incredible."
The series is planned for three weeks, but Cook says could run past its planned finish line.