Chyron Touts Gannett Deal
Graphics supplier to provide Web-based graphics to 23 Gannett Broadcasting stations.
By Glen Dickson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/20/2008 9:00:00 PM
The agreement with Gannett -- which Chyron CEO Michael-Wellesley Wesley first mentioned at the National Association of Broadcasters’ 2008 NAB Show in April -- will see the broadcaster use the Axis system to create, manage, share and broadcast news graphics across its 23 stations.
Axis is a subscription service that allows users to create template-based graphics at their desktop through a Web-based interface, then renders the graphic on its own servers and delivers the finished product as a file transfer via the Internet.
The graphic can be played to air off Chyron’s hardware systems, which Chyron fully integrated with Axis, or off third-party hardware. Axis can pull images from a proprietary database that a station group creates, and it also gives access to external sources such as AP’s GraphicsBank database.
With the cost savings of the Web-based model, Chyron is seeking to grow its base of television customers, but also to target newspaper companies and others that are increasingly looking to put high-quality graphics on their Web sites. Broadcasters like Gannett are looking at centralized, software-based systems like Axis as a way to reduce costs while maintaining a high-quality graphic look.
“With the old broadcast model, you had proprietary art systems sitting in a room with graphics artists dedicated to those machines,” Gannett Broadcasting president David Lougee said. “This puts the ability to create standard story-telling graphics in the hands of lots of people.”
Axis will be used to create daily breaking-news graphics, maps and charts, while more complex customized work will be handled by the newly formed Gannett Graphics Group, or G3, a centralized division based at KUSA Denver that will produce high-end graphics for all of the Gannett stations.
Lougee said Axis is currently being brought online at KUSA and WLTX Columbia, S.C., while G3 is still being set up and will be rolled out over the next few months. As it centralizes high-end graphics in Denver, Gannett will eliminate some graphics positions at local stations.
“There will be some cuts -- that’s certainly part of it,” Lougee added. “In this environment, you’re trying to create some efficiency. That’s part of the reality of the world we’re in. But at the same time, this allows us to maintain a high level of quality across the organization.”
Gannett isn’t the first broadcaster to create a centralized graphics hub as a way to cut costs. Media General built a centralized facility in Richmond, Va., with server-based technology from Miranda Technologies to provide graphics to its stations, while other groups like Raycom Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group also centralized graphics creation to some degree.
Gannett will create a new graphics look that can be shared among the stations, and the implementation of Axis and G3 means that its small-market stations will be able to achieve a higher-quality look than they could have afforded previously, Lougee said. Some of the Axis graphics will also be used on Gannett’s station Web sites.
“As with a lot of new technologies, this is just a better way to do things,” he added.
Yes, this is just what is needed in TV newsrooms around the country: standardize chyrons, cut two or three jobs and have producers build their own graphics in between not only writing their shows but also hand-holding reporters and now editing vo's and sot's.
Everyone makes money. Oh, except for those who lost their jobs and those who have to take on more work. I guess that means only the execs make more money.
A winning formula if I've ever seen one.
Scott Thomas - 7/21/2008 9:39:00 AM EDT
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