In a move designed to make the most of limited resources, WCAU-TV (NBC10) and WTXF-TV (Fox29) in Philadelphia shared video news footage last week. The move was a test to “see if we can cooperate on some newsgathering in the field,“ according to a memo circulated to WCAU’s staff by news director Chris Blackman.
The cooperation extends to news conferences and other planned events that both stations would cover anyway, Blackman said in his memo, adding that “helicopter resources” also would be shared.
WTXF general manager Mike Renda said the idea of cooperation stemmed from a story last month about a man who had stopped his vehicle on the Walt Whitman Bridge. “There were four helicopters up there, and they caused a safety issue,” said Renda. This led to discussions between the stations.
Paul Gluck, who spent nearly 30 years as a TV news executive in Philadelphia, said he did not think the viewer would lose from such a video-sharing arrangement. “If these organizations are covering broad and general news, fine,” said Gluck, executive director of the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies at Drexel University, told the “Philadelphia Inquirer.”
“Let’s say they have video of a car on fire. It’s incumbent of [each newsroom] to do the digging to the real story of why the car is on fire.” The challenge, he said, would be to “manage the different cultures in the newsrooms.”
It was not known yet whether the video sharing would become permanent.