WNYW/WNBC Test Chopper Share

Gee, it’s so nice to see rival stations sharing so well together. The New York Daily News reports that the local O&Os from Fox and NBC shared helicopter footage from the Bernie Madoff trial yesterday.

Richard Huff reports:

Thursday morning, when Bernard Madoff was walking into court downtown, Ch. 5’s helicopter provided footage for both stations, while Ch. 4’s was on the ground refueling, a Ch. 5 spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

If the plan works out, one of the stations’ helicopters would be grounded completely and the two stations would share the remaining copter’s costs.

“It’s a great plan to share assets and save money,” Ch. 5’s spokeswoman said.

This was, of course, only a matter of time. Fox and NBC kicked off their content share in Philadelphia earlier this year, and have been open about trying the model in other markets in which both own a station. Some degree of sharing, or at least extended conversations on the topic, has gone down in Dallas, Chicago and Washington.

Stations all over the nation, representing a range of station groups, are pooling everyday video to free up resources to go after other stories–and, of course, save a little expense. Three stations in Phoenix have begun a chopper share (details on that in Monday’s new issue, which features a Phoenix market profile). Two stations in Albany are set to share sports footage.

Get used to it.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone is content director at B+C and Multichannel News. He joined B+C in 2005 and has covered network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television, including writing the "Local News Close-Up" market profiles. He also hosted the podcasts "Busted Pilot" and "Series Business." His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Boston Globe and New York magazine.