Hartford/New Haven, CT (WTNH) — Every day, at least two people in Connecticut die from an opioid overdose. Now, WTNH News 8, Connecticut REALTORS, and iHeartMedia are teaming up to reduce that staggering number by launching Combat the Crisis, a digital-first series available exclusively through the WTNH-TV website at wtnh.com/opioidcrisis. Combat the Crisis provides an in-depth look at the state’s opioid problem and contains vitally important information regarding the issue.

This exclusive website will include more than a dozen original stories addressing such topics as the impact of opioids on local families who have lost loved ones, new forms of treatment, recovery programs, and the plight of perhaps the most helpless victims of the crisis, babies born addicted. These high-impact pieces will begin today, October 28th and run through the month of November on wtnh.com/opiodcrisis and the News 8 app. Viewers who download the News 8 app and sign-up for push alerts will be notified whenever a new story is posted. Followers of WTNH News 8’s social media channels will also know when this important content becomes available.

“News 8 will produce a series of eye-opening and emotional stories and make them available across all of our digital channels first,” said Rich Graziano, Vice President and General Manager WTNH & WCTX TV. “This content will be posted to wtnh.com/opioidcrisis, the News 8 app, and all social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, enabling us to reach audiences everywhere, whenever and wherever they watch. We are proud to work with CT REALTORS and iHeartMedia, who are great partners and share our goal of reducing the stigma of opioid addiction and enabling victims of the crisis to get help more easily.”

Michael Barbaro, Chair of the CT REALTORS Opioid Awareness Work Group, added,

“We want to make a significant impact in the way people view opioid use disorder, and remove the stigma directed at those who suffer from addiction. We can’t stay on the sidelines while so many people in our communities are suffering.”

Digital live streaming is the cornerstone of the Combat the Crisis campaign that will include in-depth interviews, compelling storytelling and exclusive programming. On November 17, ACM/CMA Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban will perform an opioid awareness concert titled “A Concert for Recovery” at Mohegan Sun Arena. Starting at 6:30pm, viewers will be able to access all the pre-concert festivities on wtnh.com and the News 8 app.

“Our goal is not only to bring opioid awareness in Connecticut to the forefront through this amazing concert, but to keep the conversation going long past the time that Keith Urban finishes his final song on stage,” said Steve Honeycomb, President, Hartford Region, iHeartMedia Markets Group.


About WTNH News 8

WTNH News 8 continues to set the standard for news coverage excellence in Connecticut. News 8 provides news, weather and information around the clock through its television newscasts, WTNH.com website and through its digital and mobile platforms. WTNH News 8, an ABC affiliate, and WCTX MyTV9, a My Network affiliate, serve several hundred thousand households*.


About Connecticut Association of Realtors

CT REALTORS is a trade association representing over 17,300 members involved in all aspects of real estate in Connecticut

About iHeartMedia

The iHeartMedia network of stations transmit comprehensive coverage throughout Connecticut and is comprised of: Country 92.5 WWYZ, the River 105.9 WHCN, KC 101 WKCI, the Beat 100.9, News Radio 1410 WPOP, ESPN Radio 1300, ESPN 97.9 FM and News Talk 960 WELI.

About Keith Urban

Keith Urban, a four-time GRAMMY Award winner, two-time 2019 CMA Award nominee (Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist) and reigning CMA AND ACM Entertainer of the Year released “We Were” – on May 14th – his first new single of 2019. It comes after the 2018 release of Graffiti U and his acclaimed “GRAFFITI U WORLD TOUR,” which played to more than a million fans in seven countries on three continents.

Graffiti U, which upon its debut hit #1 on charts in the United States, Canada and Australia, is Urban’s ninth studio recording and follows one of the most successful releases of his career, 2016’s RIPCORD. Urban’s 2018 CMA nominated Album of the Year follows RIPCORD’s five #1’s, including “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” which won Best Single at the 2017 CMA Awards and Favorite Country Song at the AMAs, where he also collected trophies for Favorite Country Album and Favorite Male Country Artist. He’s had an album simultaneously atop the all-genre charts in the U.S., Canada and Australia twice and is the only male Country artist to have achieved the mark even once.

In 2001, the Country Music Association honored Urban with its Horizon Award; he is one of only three in history to go on to win the CMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year, a title he’s captured three times, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year, which he’s captured twice. Besides four Grammy Awards, Urban has won thirteen Country Music Association Awards, eleven Academy of Country Music Awards, four People’s Choice Awards and four American Music Awards. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

He’s long supported numerous charities. His “All For The Hall” benefit concerts for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum© have raised over $3.4 million. He is the first Ambassador of the CMA Foundation, is an advisory board member at the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and is a longtime supporter of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Fund and The Grammy Foundation.