Louisville’s WHAS and WAVE merge helicopter operations

Louisville’s WHAS and WAVE merge helicopter operations

29-Mar-2011 Source: HeliHub.com

Rival television stations in Louisville, Kentucky, WHAS and WAVE are joining forces in the air, effective from 1st April.   The two stations will share air time and the video feeds will be identical on each station – and the helicopter will be painted up with one station’s colours on the port side and the other to starboard.  Mark Neerman, WHAS’s news director, says the new arrangement saves both stations money and is similar to deals being made in the TV business. “It’s becoming really common all across the country,” he said.  There have been a number of other stations merging in this way to save costs – for example in San Francisco, the NBC and CBS-owned affiliates share a helicopter

As part of the deal, both stations get “private time” when they can use the aircraft without the other station’s involvement, such as footage supporting their own investigative journalism. On the other hand, if one station knows about a breaking story and other doesn’t, the potential scoop would have to be shared with a competitor. The other option being to do the story without the chopper.

Two two stations will have a helicopter operated for them by Helicopters Inc. of St. Louis, which calls itself “the leading provider of news gathering helicopters”.  The losing operator in this merger is US Helicopters of Marshville, NC

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