WRTV-TV Channel 6 is hoping to get more exposure for its local newscasts by occasionally broadcasting from one of the city’s most recognizable locations—Monument Circle.
The station has entered into a multi-year agreement with Emmis Communications Corp., headquartered on the southwest side of the Circle, to share studio space with Emmis-owned radio station WIBC-FM 93.1
For WRTV, the glass-enclosed space could provide a lift for a station whose newscasts typically lag the competition in the ratings.
“We have a lot of possibilities with this; lots of regularly scheduled newscasts and lots of specials,” said Kevin Finch, WRTV’s news director. “It’s such a centerpiece of the city.”
Emmis’ local market manager, Charlie Morgan, declined to divulge financial details of the deal.
Morgan said the Indianapolis-based media company shopped the space to all four television news operations in the city (the others are WTHR-TV Channel 13, WISH-TV Channel 8 and WXIN-TV Channel 59) because WIBC is not “maximizing the use of this oceanfront property.”
“We felt like, for WIBC, the WRTV response was the most robust and the most integrated,” he said. "It creates more activity in the space and brings our people together in a real way.”
The sharing of studio space is an extension of a relationship between the two that began following the arrival of Finch and current WRTV General Manager Larry Blackerby in early 2011.
WIBC and WRTV at times will share reporters and stories during newscasts in an effort to bolster content, Morgan said.
WRTV christened the studio space by broadcasting live from there April 28 during a free concert on the Circle to kick off the month-long celebration leading up to the Indianapolis 500.
The television station is outfitting the studio with lights, permanent cameras and a desk, and hopes to finish sometime in June.
“There’s any number of possibilities [for the space],” Finch said, “and we’ll probably get into a regular groove within the next several months.”
Emmis owns 20 radio stations in the United States. Besides WIBC, locally it operates WYXB-FM 105.7, WLHK-FM 97.1 and WFNI-AM 1070.
The company’s headquarters on the Circle feature two ground-floor studios visible from the street. The WIBC studio that WRTV is sharing is southeast of the building’s entrance.