Three TV stations in the nation’s capital announced Thursday (May 21) the formation of a local news service to pool video newsgathering resources. A practice that has been spreading across the nation, WTTG-TV, Fox Television’s owned-and-operated station; WRC-TV, NBC Universal’s owned-and-operated station; and WUSA-TV, Gannett’s CBS affiliate, will launch the service June 15.
TV stations have been taking a number of steps to offset steep revenue declines. The idea to share newsgathering resources was born out of an experiment last summer between Fox and NBC Local Media in Philadelphia and is growing to include the five markets where both own stations. In April, Fox struck a similar pact with The E.W. Scripps Co. to create a local news service in Detroit, Phoenix and Tampa.
The Washington, D.C. station trio, like the other local news service organizations, set up an independent news service management to determine the stories to be covered each day and arrange the collection and delivery of video footage, usually for events such as press conferences and other stories that have historically been covered by multiple cameras. Each station uses the video as they see fit, remaining independent in all other aspects of their business.
WTTG-TV and WRC-TV will continue their aerial news footage partnership.