WNBC has gotten rid of Chopper 4, its news helicopter, as well as its helicopter reporter Dan Rice. The Daily News reports, “Ch. 4, the first station in the market to have a dedicated helicopter for its coverage, is now sharing footage, a chopper and staff with Ch. 5. It’s part of a cost-cutting move by both stations in a market where every station has been battered by declining advertising revenues.” The sharing scheme will save each station $500,000 annually and the News says channels 2 (WCBS) and 11 (WPIX) may share a chopper as well. Rice said he found out about being fired back in March, after winning an Emmy for his coverage of last year’s Upper East Side crane collapse; he Tweeted yesterday, “Today is Chopper 4’s last day. Thanks to all of the viewers who have tuned in over the last 10 years. I will miss you the most!”
I can’t recall having one of my most loved stand-up routines become obsolete in front of my very eyes.