Wednesday, May 20, 2009

News Sharing: One For All, All For One?

Does it matter which channel you watch for your local news? You may find they are sharing more and more. As ad dollars soften, costs get cut and networks have found a number of ways to improve the bottom line. One avenue is to share services. Networks are now using the same helicopter to report traffic conditions on the roads. Here in New York, the channel 9 sports anchor also delivers sports for channel 5. In addition, networks are sharing cameras to cover major events. "Fox-owned KSAZ, Scripps' KNXV (ABC) and Meredith's KPHO (CBS) relied on their recently formed newsgathering partnership to supply footage of the president's arrival and his motorcade through the city." And lastly cheaper talent is being used to report the news as big salaries can no longer be carried.

"With newsroom budgets under pressure like never before, TV stations in a growing number of markets are suppressing their competitive instincts and forming news co-ops to capture and share video of public meetings, press conferences and other routine events." How far can this go? One network may supply the same news show for two different channels, one at 10 p on one net and again on 11p on another channel. It seems to be the way we are headed.

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