Meredith’s CBS Atlanta Affil. Out of Video-Sharing Pool

WGCL, Meredith Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate in Atlanta, has decided to jump out the video content pool. Since May, the Meredith station had been testing the concept of a local news service with WAGA, Fox Television’s owned-and-operated station and WXIA, Gannett’s NBC affiliate.

Video-content sharing cooperatives to handle commonly covered and routine stories have been sweeping local TV as a way to save money and resources. But for WGCL, the collaborative effort was more stifling than liberating.

“It limited our ability to produce different product [than our competitors],” said Andy Alford, general manager of WGCL, which is trying to climb out of third place in the news ratings. “We don’t think covering the same type of news will help us beat our competitors.”

While Meredith may be backing down in Atlanta, the company certainly hasn’t ruled out the concept in other markets, such as Phoenix. There, KPHO, Meredith’s CBS affiliate, participates in two collaborations, one for a helicopter share, the other for a local news service like the one WGCK rejected.

“It’s a smart business plan if it works for you. It works for different people in different places at different times,” Alford said.