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Exclusive: WNBC Splits From LNS Share in NY

Four years after the Local News Service (LNS) 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

"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.

Fox did not comment on NBC's decision at presstime.

Sharing daybook content among stations became common after
the Fox-NBC debut, general managers saying it was a way to save significant
cost with minimal impact on unique news output.

CBS and Fox owned stations share helicopters in
multiple markets, including New York, Philadelphia and Boston. WNYW, WCBS and
WPIX also share on the ground in the No. 1 DMA.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.