Two TV stations in Augusta, Georgia, WJBF and WAGT, are entering into a shared services agreement, their parent companies announced Monday. Media General and Schurz Communications signed a Letter of Intent which states that ABC-affiliate WJBF will provide sales and news for NBC-affiliate WAGT. The agreement will take effect in January 2010.
In a press release announcing the partnership, Bill Stewart, VP and GM of WJBF, said, “Media General and WJBF are honored to have the opportunity for a partnership with an outstanding company like Schurz Communications Inc.”
“It has become clear that the current economic conditions will only make it increasingly difficult to operate as we have in the past,” said Marci Burdick, Senior VP for Schurz. “We believe the new agreement allows the best of both companies to be leveraged for the benefit of the viewers and advertisers.”
In the midst of the current economic downturn, joint sales agreements and shared services agreements are increasingly popular options for media companies looking to minimize their costs. In August, three Honolulu TV stations announced a shared services agreement. The consolidation of KGMB, KHNL, and KFVE is set to take effect by mid-October, and will mean the loss of 68 jobs.