While many station groups look to standardize traffic systems, some are
planning to centralize them. The Emmis Communications Centralcasting facility,
located in Orlando, Fla., handles master control for five stations: WKCF
Orlando; WFTX Ft. Myers, Fla.; WVUE New Orleans; WALA Mobile, Ala.; and WBPG
Gulf Shores, Ala. Each station has its own Harris/Encoda traffic system tied
into a Florical automation system located at the hub. Together, the systems
handle playout of all SD and HD programming.
Joe Addalia, Emmis Centralcasting director of operations, says a program
from Harris/Encoda helps the traffic and automation systems speak the same
language. The station group works with content packaged as files, moving it
between the Centralcasting hub and the stations across a wide area network
(WAN). “Purge lists, dub lists, logs, as-run logs and user reports are what
keep the processes flowing,” says Addalia.
The facility highlights the delicate dance between automation and
traffic. In addition to on-air operations, the Florical system also handles
programming from other sources, including networks. It deals with as much as
18-21 hours of syndicated programming on weekdays and nearly 80 daily satellite
The Harris/Encoda system does require some manual intervention.
Addalia's bottom line: First figure out the workflow. Then buy the
technology that can do it. “That's especially important with traffic,” he
says, “because otherwise the workflow is based on the system's