Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More On That Pool

We're getting more feedback from around local TV newsrooms about that little bombshell that hit earlier this week...the announcement that two competing Cleveland TV stations, Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 and Raycom CBS affiliate WOIO/19, would share routine video of planned news events...sending only one crew out to cover those stories, when each station would send a crew before.

Then, we pointed out a quote from the TV trade site "Broadcasting & Cable", which quoted both WKYC VP/GM Brooke Spectorsky and WOIO VP/GM Bill Applegate that the other two newsrooms in the Cleveland market were likely to join the arrangement.

"Not quite yet", we hear out of sources at Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5.

It's still considered possible that "NewsChannel 5" will dip its toes into the Shared Video Pool, eventually, but we're told from folks at 3001 Euclid that it's not in the station's immediate plans.

This New Reality for local TV news has newsies asking a few, what about all those large mic flags that stations like to use? Are those going away at these "pooled" events?

With only one photojournalist and one microphone shared between two, and maybe three or four, stations, we doubt the station drawing the "pooled" assignment will be allowed to use its own mic flag.

We also don't know if the arrangement extends to stories where stations send reporters separately, and how that'll be handled if it does.

We also don't believe WOIO's "19 Action News" will add a disclaimer to its infamous "Everywhere" promos...noting in small print that sometimes, they'll be there because WKYC helped them.

Though the stations like to tout the plan "freeing up" their own crews to cover enterprise stories, we can't help but to move ahead to the obvious conclusion - it seems likely to us that it'll eventually, if not directly, lead to layoffs...since the nature of how TV news is covered in Cleveland will certainly mean less day-to-day news cycle work for TV news photographers.

We hope that's not where it lands, but just about everything "lands" in job cuts in 2009.

And cost-cutting is rampant, as the use of news helicopters is pretty much a thing of the past at most local stations...particularly in a "routine" basis.

Back to Friends of OMW out of 3001 Euclid: We're hearing WEWS is now able to do remote feeds from Akron in HD format, and all but three live news trucks (still slated for conversion) are HD capable.

The station, and all Cleveland market stations, continue to beef up the syndicated HD schedule as well...with Channel 5's airing of "Live! with Regis And Kelly" being one of the most recent converts...

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