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.Â Â 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.Â Mark Neerman, WHASâ€™s news director, says the new arrangement saves both stations money and is similar to deals being made in the TV business. â€œItâ€™s becoming really common all across the country,â€ he said.Â 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 â€œprivate timeâ€ when they can use the aircraft without the other stationâ€™s involvement, such as footage supporting their own investigative journalism. On the other hand, if one station knows about a breaking story and other doesnâ€™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 â€œthe leading provider of news gathering helicoptersâ€.Â The losing operator in this merger is US Helicopters of Marshville, NC