Costs ground news chopper

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WCPO-TV Cincinnati's state-of-the-art Chopper 9 will no longer be flying, due to cost concerns. The station will not be renewing the three-year lease but will continue to use helicopters for news coverage on a pay-as-you-go basis.

While station sources acknowledged the expense, there was nonetheless disappointment that the highly recognizable station symbol would be grounded. Chopper 9 hit its glory in April 1999, when footage from its reports on an area tornado circulated worldwide.

But, general manager Bill Fee said, such opportunities to distinguish itself were too infrequent to warrant the investment, although he acknowledged that the helicopter added to the station's coverage and its image.

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