WNBC Backs Away from Sharing Agreement in NY


4 years ago, the economy was in the shitter and TV stations were trying to find anyway they could to save a buck.

Even in big markets you saw the start up of  Local News Service (LNS), where stations would share video and resources between themselves. It seemed odd that competitors would pool their resources. But, at the time it was about saving the dough.

4 years later and the stock market is at an all time high and TV stations are back making big money with advertising and cable retrans fees. and the Local News Service is starting to fall apart. 

Broadcasting and Cable reports that 4 years after the content share between NBC and Fox debuted in Philadelphia, NBC took another step to unwind itself from the arrangement by telling Fox it was splitting from the New York LNS. WNBC credited increased resources from parent Comcast in its decision to part ways with LNS partner WNYW; the official departure date is to be determined. 

"The move away from LNS is instrumental in our ability to become even more independent, localized and differentiated in our story telling," WNBC said in a statement. "In the past year and a half, there have been significant investments made in our news operation including the hiring of additional reporters and photographers, expansion of our news product and obtaining our own dedicated helicopter. These major changes enable us to deliver even more unique stories to our viewers, who rely on us for the most up-to-date and accurate news and information every day."

Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy and his then-NBC counterpart John Wallace said in late 2008 that LNS would focus on "non-enterprise stories," freeing up station staffers to chase down in-depth signature reportage.

After the Philadelphia debut, Fox and NBC started LNS bureaus in Chicago, Dallas and other common markets. The New York video pool, featuring WNBC, WNYW, WCBS and WPIX, went live in June 2009. 
NBC allows station management to decide whether LNS works for them. Late last year, WCAU Philadelphia exited LNS and debuted its own helicopter. 

Owned stations from Fox and NBC continue to pool video in Dallas and Chicago. 

More at B&C