Over 140 stations are using specialized software from editing and graphics supplier Avid Technology to help automate today's election coverage.
The software system, called LeaderPlus, is an election management system that helps stations cover voting results by ingesting multiple wire feeds and polling data and then linking to graphics systems, including Avid's Pinnacle Deko systems as well as third-party products, to automatically create on-air graphics. The $17,000 LeaderPlus system can also drive stations' Web coverage, says Avid director of on-air product management Johnathon Howard, and is intelligent enough to analyze multiple data points and indicate voting trends.
KDFW, the Fox-owned station in Dallas-Fort Worth, Tex., is using the LeaderPlus system to cover a total of 350 races in 25 counties (a number of bond proposals has boosted the total workload), linking it to a Chyron Duet graphics system. Chip Mahaney, managing editor for KDFW, says the LeaderPlus system will also drive extensive election coverage on its newly created Website, part of a broader online initiative across the Fox station group.
"There is a great emphasis now in 2006 on having more content on the Web than we provide on air," says Mahaney.