Most television news viewers probably take for granted that their local newscast is, well, local. But in the current economic climate, and with broadcasters hit especially hard, local stations are finding lots of ways to save money.
Usually, those cost-saving measures go unnoticed, but when they do go public, it can be a bit embarrassing.
This blogger discovered the local news team at the Fox station in Davenport, Iowa seems to get around:
Check each link below. You’ll find our Fox 18 news team broadcasting news in each city. Does the banner topping each page look familiar? How do they jet around in time for all these newscasts running simultaneous? Do they say, “Broadcasting live from (fill in the blank)?
Sure enough, if you take a look at the banners on the top of the pages, or the bios in the “about us” section, there a few familiar faces, from Alabama to Georgia and Louisiana to Iowa.
So what is going on?
The anchors in question work for the Independent News Network, an Iowa-based company that provides newscasts to local broadcasters that don’t quite have the budget of some of their fellow stations in larger markets.
INN talent can appear on multiple stations across the country.
The sad thing is that in some cases, the local stations tweaked the bios of the reporters to make them seem more local than they really are.
Take chief meteorologist Pat Walker. On his bio page for Fox affiliate KJLB in Davenport, Iowa, it says: “Originally from Arkansas, Pat has lived his entire life in the South until moving to the Quad Cities. After all those years in the heat and humidity, he is glad to be living in the Midwest.”
That probably won’t fly down south, so in his official bio for ABC affiliate WNCF in Montgomery, Alabama it has been slightly and inaccurately tweaked: “Originally from Arkansas, Pat has lived his entire life in the South.”
His bio for WZDX in Huntsville, Alabama takes the middle road: “Originally from Arkansas, Pat has lived most of his entire life in the South.”