Tuesday, June 9, 2009

N.Y. Television Stations to Pool Video News Content

By Katy Bachman
Media Week

Four TV stations in the nation's largest TV market announced Monday (June 8) have formed a local news service to pool video newsgathering resources, a practice that is fast becoming standard operating procedure in major markets.

The local news service will launch June 22. In New York, the four stations that agreed to form the LNS are: WNYW-TV, Fox Television's owned-and-operated station; WNBC-TV, NBC Universal's owned-and-operated station; WPIX-TV, Tribune's The CW affiliate; and WCBS-TV, CBS Television's owned-and-operated stations.

While the stations may share video, each station will operate independently, putting its own spin to commonly-covered stories.

In addition to the LNS, WNYW-TV and WNBC-TV will continue to share their aerial news footage partnership.

The LNS began as an experiment in Philadelphia between the Fox and NBCU O&Os but has quickly spread to other markets and other station groups. So far, stations have launched an LNS in a number of markets such as the markets the Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Washington, D.C., Detroit and Phoenix.

In Los Angeles, (Fox's KTTV, NBC's KNBC, and Tribune's KTLA) are ready to join the video sharing throng on June 15.Like the other local news services around the country, the New York LSN is run by an independent managing editor who will determine the stories to be covered each day by the news service.

The video produced by the LSN will be used for all local TV video, including on air, online and mobile.

Brian Donathan, a Graduate student in Temple University’s Master’s of Journalism program. has a blog detailing his internship with Fox29 in Philadelphia, PA.


In his Blog, Brian will be writing about his experiences working directly for the newly implemented Local News Service (LNS). LNS is a joint venture between The Fox Television Stations and NBC Local Media designed to pool news gathering efforts within a single market.

"The LNS desk, not unlike the regular Fox29 newsdesk, is a practice in multi-tasking –answering phones, ingesting video shot by both WCAU’s LNS crew and our own, updating information in the news queue as it becomes available, coordinating photog logistics, and trying to pick up breaking news on those ridiculously difficult to comprehend emergency scanners."

"As always, questions arose throughout the night about what LNS should and should not be covering. The Fox29 newsdesk, only one floor above, called a couple of times wondering if we were heading out to the scene of a fire or a shooting in North Philadelphia."

"Other concerns arise when it comes to the organization of everything coming into the LNS newsroom. LNS has essentially become a second news division, and as information comes in — particuarly video — it must all be organized not only for the LNS crew, but also for the Fox29 crew upstairs. LNS at Fox29 is using the exact same database used by the newsroom for Fox29’s editors and producers."

"If LNS does not continuously update the incoming information Fox29 will not know what’s going on in terms of what video or SOT is available. At the same time LNS is responsible for making sure incoming video, whether it is something the photog brought in by hand or is feeding from a live truck in the field, gets into the hands of the newsroom at NBC10. It’s a constant exchange with both stations, and organization is crucial."

Check out Figuring Out A Model For LNS .

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