Shop Talk - March 15
Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss a contract proposal from the owners of WEEK-TV and WHOI-TV in Peoria, who want permission to outsource local news coverage.
Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star reported that members of the news staffs at the TV stations are speaking out against the proposal. They believe local news should be covered by local reporters.
The Shop Talk panelists agree. Bill Knight points out that weather reports were outsourced by the stations for a while and he feels that experiment failed. The panelists find the company's proposal odd at a time when "hyper-local" is a buzzword in the news industry.
The contract covering numerous news personnel at the stations expired February 18. The next bargaining session between the workers' union and station owners Granite Broadcasting Corporation is scheduled for March 21.
The company says it has no plans to move the Peoria news operation to its facilities in Indiana. It simply wants flexibility in the new contract.