Technology

Sharing the Graphics Wealth

Raycom is building a collaborative system that will enable the group’s stations to produce more news 8/22/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

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With more stations launching
4 p.m. newscasts to replace Oprah
this fall, finding ways to create more
high-quality graphics for the expanded news
slate has become a growing problem.

“We have stations [at Raycom Media] that
are producing over 40 hours of news per
week,” notes Dave Folsom, the station group’s
chief technology offcer. “Finding a way to create
more content without throwing more and
more people at the problem is very important
for us, and increasingly so for many other people.
You’ve seen quite a move in stations countrywide
to replace Oprah with 4 o’clock news,
and everyone is trying to figure out ways to do
that without adding extra people. Either you
water down your product, which we refuse
to do, or you can improve your productivity
so you can maintain your standards, which is
what we are trying to do with these upgrades.”

To achieve that goal, Raycom is currently
standardizing its newsroom graphics systems
on the Chyron platform. Sometime in October,
it will complete the installation of Chyron’s
new BlueNet graphics work " ow at 26 of its 31
stations that produce local news, with the rest
of the stations moving to Chyron in early 2012.

Besides the BlueNet system, Raycom is also
deploying Chryon’s Camio server, the iSQ remote
monitoring and playout application and
two dual-channel LEX3 on-air graphics systems
at each of the 31 stations.

The upgrades will help Raycom expand the
number of stations offering HD newscasts,
achieving the group’s goals of having all of its
news operations in HD in 2012 and standardizing
operations across the group.

Better productivity and collaboration between
stations was, however, the biggest
driver for the Chyron purchase.

Folsom notes that Raycom implemented a
Wide Area Network connecting its stations in
the 1990s. Recently, the group has worked with
Bitcentral to deploy workflow solutions to
share video between stations
using the WAN. “Collaboration
company-wide has been
a dream for us,” Folsom says.
“We’ve been sharing video
for quite a while, and now
we will be collaborating on
graphics as well.”

This collaboration is
particularly important for
Raycom because many of
its stations are located in
adjacent markets and are
heavily concentrated in the
Southern coastal and East
Coast regions. During the
recent tornadoes that swept
through Mississippi and
Alabama, Raycom stations
were able to use the Bitcentral Oasis system
to share video. When the Chyron installations
are completed, the upgrades will allow them
to more easily share graphics and streamline
the graphics creation process, Folsom says.

“A reporter or producer or anyone else can
very quickly build a graphic” or go into the
system “and drop and drag a graphic from another
station,” he adds.

E-mail comments to
gpwin@oregoncoast.com

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