Atlanta Stations Set to Share

Top-rated WSB won't participate in content pool trial

Three Atlanta stations are scheduled to kick off a trial run this week that will see them share content in the No. 8 DMA.

Fox O&O WAGA, Gannett NBC outlet WXIA and Meredith CBS affiliate WGCL each plans to contribute a photographer to the pool, which will operate Monday through Friday. The stations will see how the test goes before deciding if it will work in the long term.

The pool will focus on static events like press conferences. “We're interested in seeing if we can find a more effective way to get the coverage we all do, without sending three photographers to the same press conference,” says WGCL VP/General Manager Andy Alford.

The Atlanta model resembles the Fox-NBC sharing arrangement in Philadelphia and other markets, where participating stations offer personnel to the pool. The Fox-NBC partnership is called Local News Service (LNS).

And as is true elsewhere, the top-rated Atlanta station—Cox-owned WSB—has opted out of the cooperative. “I understand and respect that all stations have tough economic decisions to make and have to scrutinize every line item,” says WSB VP/General Manager Bill Hoffman. “But it's just not a place we want to be right now. We really like our independence, and we're hopeful we can hold onto it in a challenging time.”