Bonded By Pooling, Philadelphia Stations Make Changes

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By Andrew Gauthier Comment

Broadcasting & Cable

Halladay Press Conf Jan. 1, 2009, marked the official beginning of Local News Service, the joint newsgathering operation from Philadelphia stations WTXF and WCAU that jump-started the industry’s pooling craze. A year onward, the principals say LNS is a success. “It’s exceeded all expectations, and has allowed us to cover more stories and be in more places,” says WTXF VP/General Manager Patrick Paolini.

LNS recently tackled the Phillies’ pursuit of star pitcher Roy Halladay. WCAU President/General Manager Dennis Bianchi says his crew was then able to chase down more signature stories: “It frees us up to focus on reporter packages and enterprise stuff.”

But ABC O&O WPVI continues to dominate. The station moved into a new 130,000-square-foot building in September and is working through the loss of sportscaster Gary Papa, who died in June, and meteorologist Dave Roberts, who retired on Dec. 11. President/General Manager Bernie Prazenica says WPVI stays ahead with subtle tweaks, such as a new Perceptive Pixel board similar to CNN anchor John King‘s Magic Wall. More…

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