Scripps building West Palm Beach news powerhouse


NBC WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach already has an agreement to share news resources with Raycom’s Fox WFLX-TV in the DMA that kicks in on 1/3/11. Now it has an agreement to combine forces with Cox Media’s market-leading newspaper, the Palm Beach Post.

The principals in this arrangement should be naturals at making it work. Both Scripps and Cox have significant interests in both the television and newspaper businesses.

According to the Post, WPTV will feature at least one front page story on its 11PM newscast and on its morning news offerings, and will also use it on the 10PM newcast of WFLX, which the Post says WPTV is producing.
Additionally, the television stations will make occasional use of Post reporters.

The Post will use its website to host news items from the television stations.

Post publisher and executive editor Tim Burke said, “It’s a powerhouse partnership that delivers the best of both worlds for readers and viewers in our area. We’re bringing the visual medium of WPTV to Post readers and the large newsgathering force of Palm Beach Newspapers to WPTV viewers.”

WPTV news director Jeff Brogan simply called the arrangement a “no-brainer.”

The agreement between WPTV and WFLX was arrived at back in November.

RBR-TVBR observation: The Third Circuit recognized that cross-media news platforms often produce the best product in a market. Those opposed to media consolidation note that they are often so good that they stifle competition, thus harming diversity of viewpoint. Those looking at the medical chart of traditional media say it may be a necessary prescription to keep local news alive on traditional platforms. Watch for this issue to rise again in Washington this year if and when the FCC gets around to dealing with the latest quadrennial review.