Stacy BradyGeneral Manager, News Field and Production Operations, NBCUniversal 4/16/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
When viewers turn on the news and see reporters in distant
places providing compelling video of international
confiicts or natural disasters, few probably think about the
technology that allowed those images to be produced in
some of the most difficult conditions imaginable and then
transported halfway around the world into U.S. homes.
Those technical challenges, however, have been top of
mind for Stacy Brady throughout her career. During the
2003 Iraq war, most network correspondents were feeding
back jittery video over mobile phones as they followed
the army through the desert because their satellite systems
could only work from stationary locations.
Brady’s team worked with Maritime Telecommunications
Network to create a complex system that allowed
NBC’s David Bloom to feed high-quality video back to
the U.S. from a moving vehicle, which was dubbed the
Bloommobile. That effort, which won Brady’s team a 2011
Emmy Award for Technology, is one of many examples of
the alliance between editorial staff and engineers that has
greatly improved NBC’s news coverage, Brady says.
“It has been a very collaborative relationship between
editorial and engineers because technology plays a key role
in our being the No. 1 news organization,” she says.
Brady’s interest in technology began early. “I was a bit
of a techie,” she recalls. “I was always the one with the CB
radio. I wasn’t the cheerleader.”
But she had no specific technology training and, after
college, she took a secretarial job at NBC, where her
mother worked. Only a few weeks into her new job,
the People’s Temple massacre occurred in Jonestown,
Guyana. “I was hooked,” Brady recalls. “I could see we
were really providing a public service, and I wanted to be
part of it. But as a female in this business, I realized I had
to go back to school and learn everything I could.”
As Brady took night classes on everything related to
broadcast technology, she worked her way up to technical
manager, where she spent 15 years travelling around
the world from event to event. By 2007 she was senior
VP of news field operations, where she oversaw an international
team of engineers who provide the day-to-day
technical support and live-remote origination services for
NBC News and other NBCUniversal divisions.
Last fall Brady was promoted to her current post, where
her duties were expanded to include news production
at 30 Rock. Her teams continue to develop innovative
newsgathering tools for NBC’s election coverage. As part
of that effort, NBC has been sending out one-person
crews equipped with cameras, laptops and LiveU backpacks
who have been feeding a massive amount of text
and video to 30 Rock for newscasts and digital platforms.
“The embeds are a great example of how we’ve worked
with editorial to develop technologies that allow them to
cover much more ground than we would otherwise be
able to cover,” Brady says.