BACKGROUND: In nearly two decades with Gray Television, Mike Braun has directed the TV group’s transformation from TV broadcaster to multimedia content company. He heads up digital content, sales and operations for 100 television stations in 57 markets across digital platforms, including web, mobile and social. He first joined the broadcaster as online content director and gradually added digital sales, trafficking and operations. (Before joining Gray, Braun worked for the Chicago Blackhawks in the team’s press office.)
2017 HIGHLIGHTS: To better manage information and content, Braun’s team designed and built “Gray Connect,” an internal pipeline for all of the TV stations to share content between stations and get information quickly to audiences on any platform. It allows Gray’s newsrooms to share and store both video and digital content, and promotes sharing and collaboration. A Gray station in one market can grab an interesting report from a sister station and use it for their newscast or website; stations can even make changes and share the updated version. Gray Connect also powers the stations’ ticker system, so news and weather updates and alerts can go on any screen almost instantly.
WHAT’S AHEAD: Braun wants to add more functions to Gray Connect to help reporters in the field get their stories out to broadcast and digital platforms faster. He wants to enable reporters to go live from the field with less equipment, more easily transmitting work back to the station, covering more stories more efficiently. “We don’t always need to take giant live trucks with us. The technology is there to produce high-quality video for broadcast and digital in ways that never existed before.” Gray also is expanding its presence on OTT services, which currently includes some stations on CBS All Access, Roku, Hulu and PlayStation Vue.