The Fox Television Stations and E.W. Scripps have created a local news service for their stations in Detroit, Phoenix and Tampa. Starting this month, the service "will pool content-gathering resources at general market news events, allowing the stations to save on duplicate efforts," the groups said in a statement. "By reducing costs, the stations will be able to increase their focus and resources on specialized franchise reporting."
Fox and Scripps are amenable to opening up the service to other media partners in the three markets.
The news service management will identify which stories are to be covered. Each station will decide which video to use, and how to put their stamp on the story. The announcement stressed that the stations "will continue to operate independently in all other respects of their businesses."
"We are pleased to be working with Scripps, a company that faces reality, makes quick decisions and understands what it takes to keep local television robust and independent," said Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy.
Stations are increasingly in a sharing mood. Earlier this year, Fox and NBC began pooling video in several markets, starting in Philadelphia. Last month, Media General's WCMH Columbus and a pair of Sinclair stations in the market announced a content-sharing agreement. The Raycom and Gannett stations in Cleveland are working on a similar venture.
"This news service will allow our existing staff to cover even more local news across multiple platforms," said Scripps Senior V.P. of TV Brian Lawlor, "and we'll now have the resources to deliver that content with deeper storytelling and richer context."