Local CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10 to share breaking news with Sarasota's WWSB-Ch. 40
Sarasota has always been a challenge for local news media, especially in television.
Included as part of the Tampa/St. Petersburg TV market, it's a tough region to cover continuously without a specifically assigned reporter. And many news outlets don't have the resources to send one reporter south.
But St. Petersburg CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10 seems to have found a way around that problem, announcing a news partnership with Sarasota ABC affiliate WWSB-Ch. 40 that involves sharing breaking news stories.
According to their release, "WWSB, the ABC affiliate serving Sarasota and Manatee Counties, will stand ready to provide 10 News with immediate coverage of important breaking news within their viewing area. 10 News, located in St. Petersburg, will reciprocate, providing ABC 7 News with immediate coverage of breaking news within the Tampa/St. Petersburg area that would be of interest to viewers in Sarasota and Manatee Counties."
Such an arrangement is not without precedent: Tampa public radio station WUSF-FM is pooling resources with the SNN Local News 6 cable channel in Sarasota and WGCU to share a Sarasota-based reporter.
These partnerships are increasingly common as news organizations without direct competitive concerns consider alliances that save money and expand the editorial reach (Exhibit A: The shared Tallahassee bureau the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald have implemented to dominate political coverage in the state). And it likely doesn't hurt WTSP that by helping WWSB, they may also weaken competitor WFTS-Ch. 28, which at one time saw up to 10 percent of its viewership absorbed by the ABC affiliate down south.
Click below for WTSP's official press release on it all:
10 NEWS AND ABC 7 WWSB ANNOUNCE NEWS SHARE PARTNERSHIP
St. Petersburg, FL: September 14, 2010: 10 News President and General Manager Ken Tonning and ABC 7 WWSB Vice President and General Manager Jeff Whitson jointly announced today a partnership in which the two news organizations will work together in news coverage.
ABC 7 WWSB, the ABC affiliate serving Sarasota and Manatee Counties, will stand ready to provide 10 News with immediate coverage of important breaking news within their viewing area. 10 News, located in St. Petersburg, will reciprocate, providing ABC 7 News with immediate coverage of breaking news within the Tampa/St. Petersburg area that would be of interest to viewers in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
“This agreement erases the distance between Sarasota and St. Petersburg,” explained Tonning. “When something happens in Sarasota that our viewers need to know, there will be no travel delay. We will be able to provide our viewers with immediate and excellent coverage thanks to our friends at ABC 7.”
Whitson added, “While ABC 7 News is focused on our primary service area, there are times when news and sports from the Tampa/St. Petersburg area impacts our viewers. This partnership with 10 News will allow us to provide that information and video much more readily and rapidly.”
10 News is the brand name for WTSP-TV, the Gannett owned and operated CBS affiliate serving the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota region.
ABC 7 News is the brand for WWSB-TV, Southern Broadcast Corporation of Sarasota, the ABC affiliate serving Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Other stations owned include ABC 27 WTXL-TV Tallahassee, FL and ABC 31 WAAY-TV Huntsville, AL.