Everybody, In The Pool

Some more thoughts about the news video sharing arrangement announced Monday in Cleveland.

The initial announcement involved two area stations – Gannett’s WKYC/3 and Raycom’s WOIO/19 – agreeing to pool video of pre-planned events such as news conferences, scheduled events and the like…with one photographer (from whichever station) taking video that will be used by both.

In our item Monday afternoon, we called it “the first” video sharing arrangement in the market.

Shortly after that, we started hearing rumblings that the WKYC/WOIO-initiated pact would grow, and sure enough, it looks like it is headed for all news operations in the Cleveland market.

Broadcasting & Cable has details, including this nugget from WKYC VP/GM Brooke Spectorsky and WOIO VP/GM Bill Applegate:

…the other major stations in the No. 17 DMA, which includes Local TV’s WJW and Scripps’ WEWS, are expected to join the venture.

Remember the old, generic “Cleveland Television News” moniker used when the news-less new CBS affiliate WOIO/19 merged with WUAB/43, then a long-standing independent with the market’s then-only 10 PM newscast?

It appears that events that have been covered with four cameras in the Cleveland TV market will be covered with one, as Applegate notes to B&C:

“You see three or four cameras at some of these events,” says Applegate. “It really doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

Both Applegate and Spectorsky say they “don’t envision layoffs” coming from the new arrangement, and both claim it’ll free up crews to cover enterprise stories.

But with the tanking economy showing no signs of getting out of that tank, more layoffs are probably coming down the road for both operations, and most TV news operations nationwide. The decision to “pool up” for planned news coverage may not directly result in layoffs, but they’re probably coming, anyway, unless the economy stops roaring down the hill.

Oh, and about our comment yesterday comparing WKYC and WOIO…from B&C:

WOIO and WKYC make for somewhat peculiar bedfellows. Noisy and aggressive, WOIO’s newscasts have the feel of tabloid newspapers. The more staid WKYC bears the slogan “Report the facts. Respect the truth.”

“We’re a little more conservative,” says Spectorsky. “We’re not an Action News.”

We’ll assume that if a WOIO photog is covering one of these “pooled” events, that they won’t move the camera around and get “19 Action News”‘ signature shots…like capturing the subject from a low angle…

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