ABC News, San Francisco Fox Affiliate In Flap Over Plane Crash Coverage

By Alex Weprin 

ABC News and its owned and operated station KGO found itself in the crosshairs of San Francisco Fox affiliate KTVU, as the local station touted its coverage of the Asiana plane crash at SFO over the weekend.

“KTVU’s coverage was even picked up by the ABC National News – instead of their own affiliate (KGO),” the station touted in a press release. “The ABC National News repeatedly used aerial footage from KTVU NewsChopper 2 during their 30 minute Special Report.  KGO didn’t hit the air with local coverage until 1:11pm – 58 minutes later than KTVU.”

For what its worth, ABC News had full access to KTVU’s live aerial feed through the Network News Service agreement, and did take advantage of it until KGO went on the air to cover the story. Network News Service, or NNS, is a partnership that allows ABC, CBS and Fox networks to pool coverage from their local affiliates.

ABC News, it seems, simply wanted to be aggressive in covering the story, and even though the local O&O wasn’t on it yet, the network decided to move forward and cover it nationally with whatever content it had. David Muir anchored two special reports on Saturday about the crash (the first one for 47 minutes) and also anchored “ABC World News” from San Francisco on Sunday. That said, at one point Muir also identified the aerial video as coming from KGO, rather than KTVU.

TVSpy has more on the flap.