When KSAZ, the FOX affiliate in Phoenix, signed up for a helicopter sharing agreement with cross-town ABC affiliate KNXV this week, it was just one recent example of TV stations still pursuing opportunities to pool resources. While the practice of sharing helicopters and video crews among stations may have started as a cost cutting measure years ago, networks like FOX see it as just another tool to give viewers what they want and station owners what they need, according to a report by TVNewsCheck.
Fox and other proponents of the arrangements argue that in making newsgathering more efficient, they are freeing up reporters to concentrate on enterprise stories while curbing big costs, especially those associated with operating helicopters.
Both FOX and NBC are credited with starting the practice of sharing. While NBC has begun paring back its use of pooled resources, FOX’s interest remains strong, agreeing to the practice in 12 of the 16 markets where its stations produce news.