Chicago’s air wars have gotten a lot less hardcore–with fewer birds in the air. Phil Rosenthal’s Tower Ticker
WLS/Chicago's Chopper 7HD: Still Flying Solo
blog in the Chicago Tribune reports two Windy City stations have quietly teamed up–and grounded one of their pricey eyes in the sky. “Since New Year’s Day, NBC-owned WMAQ-Ch. 5 and Fox-owned WFLD-Ch. 32 have been sharing a single news helicopter and whatever video is shot from it,” Rosenthal reports.
The smaller air fleet flying over breaking news stories in Chicago comes on the heels of a growing relationship between NBC and FOX, with stations in Philadelphia experimenting with a video-sharing agreement to cut costs and avoid “duplication,” as the news suits like to call it.
But the one chopper, two station deal has its awkward side: “Weekday mornings from 5 to 7, Channel 5 can have a traffic reporter on board. That person can be replaced by a Channel 32 traffic reporter from 7 to 9 a.m. If news breaks during that time, the other station can run the video but not the reporting,” FOX’s Senior VP of News Operations at the FOX Television Stations Sharri Berg tells the Ticker.
Local news air warriors look at the deal as yet another scary sign of the times. “It just gets worse and worse,” says a veteran major market chopper vet.
LAF Blog Guru Richards
The go-to blog for all things TV news in Atlanta is liveapartmentfire.com, which is worth a read for veteran reporter Doug Richards’ punchy, sharp writing as much as for the content (but hey, we’re in tv… how important is content!?). So it’s quite an honor to get a mention on the site today… and a powerful flood of pageviews.
Love ya back, LAF!
WNBC/NY’s “Content Center” debuted to splashy graphics, low ceilings and low ratings, and the NBC 2.0 plans still call for some kind of 24 hour cable channel to be dubbed “NBC NY.” What the “content” of that channel will be–well that, like the launch date, seems to be a closely guarded secret. Or something.
The New York Post’s intrepid “Starr” Reporter Michael Starr tried to get someone at WNBC to agree to an interview, but had no luck. In a story in the Post today, Starr quotes NYC news insiders who say what many believe: “They’re doing it as cheaply as possible.”
And the folks at Chelsea Market continue to sleep well at night: “I don’t think they’re going to give NY1 a run for its money,” Starr quotes a local tv newser, talking about New York’s original 24 hour local cable news operation. Many–including execs at Time Warner’s NY1–expect NBC’s effort will focus a lot less on news, and a lot more on entertainment: “It makes sense for WNBC to focus on lifestyles rather than to compete with us,” said NY1 regional VP/GM Steve Paulus. “We feel that NY1 has become the place New Yorkers turn to for hard news.”
As New York’s O&O’s cut costs, offload experienced talent and focus on fluff, NY1’s motto “the only local news worth watching,” seems a lot less like a marketing concept than it did years ago.