Sure, in the beginning it sounds like common sense. It seems like good business. Why hover two choppers over Bernie Madoff when one will do? The suits at FOX and NBC were surely satisfied Thursday as the despicable Mr. Madoff made his one-way trip into court in Manhattan, a bevy of birds overhead to capture any fleeting movement that the army of stills and shooters on the ground might somehow miss.
When WNBC’s Chopper 4 needed to refuel, Channel 4 never lost a second of live overhead pictures–in HD–thanks to new BFF WNYW, with its sleek SkyFOX HD sharing live images with both stations. “It’s a great plan to share assets and save money,” a FOX spokesperson told the New York Daily News’ Richard Huff. Well, yes. But talk to the local newsers who fly those birds, they’ll tell you what’s good for business almost certainly means somebody will lose their job.
“If the plan works out, one of the stations’ helicopters would be grounded completely and the two stations would share the remaining copter’s costs,” Huff reports. It’s exactly what’s already happened in markets like Phoenix and Chicago, where “sharing” quickly morphed into “eliminating.”