In Depth

Fox, NBC Stations Form Local News Service

Fox Television Stations and NBC Local Media are setting up a local news service to generate general video news coverage and thus reduce costs.

The service will start in January 2009 in Philadelphia, where Fox owns WTXF-TV and NBC owns WCAU-TV, stations that have been testing the concept since summer.

The service is scheduled to roll out later in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C., each a market in which Fox owns and operates two stations and NBC owns and operates an English-language station.

The announcement was made Thursday by Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations Inc., and John Wallace, president of NBC Local Media.

Both entities will manage the service, whose footage will be available to other local media outlets.

Managed by the Fox Television Stations and NBC Local Media group, the news service’s footage will be available to interested local media outlets in each market, including TV and radio, newspapers and digital.

Both station groups’ parent companies already are partners in the video sharing Web site, Hulu.com.

“By allowing us to save on duplicate expenditures we can be even more competitive with NBC and other stations through signature pieces and investigative reporting,” Mr. Abernethy said in the announcement.

“By pooling resources to provide video coverage of general market events, we can ensure our stations are covering the news of the day, and at the same time, focus our efforts on the type of specialized reporting that defines our brands and differentiates our stations within their communities,” Mr. Wallace said.

(Editor: Baumann)