A Shift in Aerial News Reporting
Pittsburgh's News broadcasting landscape is undergoing a significant change as KDKA-TV and WPXI-TV have decided to ground their shared news helicopter. The move signifies a shift towards modern aerial coverage techniques.
The Rise of Drone Journalism
Chris Cotugno, President and General Manager of KDKA, reportedly confirmed the grounding of the helicopter, citing the station's increasing use of drones. These drones, operated by FAA licensed photojournalist drone operators, offer flexibility to capture footage in challenging locations where helicopters can't reach.
Enhancing Viewer Experience
The use of drones allows for lower and closer coverage of events, providing a more immersive viewing experience. With multiple operators, coverage can be expanded to various locations simultaneously.
WPXI's Continued Commitment
While Kevin Hayes of WPXI did not comment, WPXI News Director Scott Trabandt emphasized their ongoing use of drones for covering news, weather, and sports, highlighting their commitment to using all available tools for optimal news delivery.
Impact and Future Outlook
The discontinuation of the shared helicopter, which was leased through a third party, did not result in any job losses, assuring a smooth transition in the news reporting process.
WTAE-TV's Distinct Approach
While KDKA and WPXI are moving towards drone-based coverage, WTAE-TV will continue to operate its news helicopter, Sky4, making it the only active news gathering helicopter in Pittsburgh. They also incorporate drones, providing flexibility in their news-gathering approach.
The Big Three's Ongoing Developments
All three major stations in Pittsburgh – WPXI, KDKA, and WTAE – have been active with new launches and developments in early 2024. Notably, WPXI and KDKA introduced new shows, and WTAE announced the retirement of news director Jim Parsons after a distinguished career.
A New Era in News Reporting
The decision by Pittsburgh's major news stations to integrate drones into their reporting marks a new era in broadcast journalism.
This technological evolution offers enhanced coverage capabilities, ensuring that the community receives comprehensive and dynamic news reporting.
Photo courtesy of WTAE-TV.
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