Newsroom Computer Systems — Are We There Yet?

With the technology and business models associated with the newsroom changing and evolving monthly, you can hardly be faulted for wondering where it’s all heading next. There are three primary elements that are adding to these changes: the need to deliver news product to a variety of platforms, not just the big screen; consolidation in station ownership, which is creating new opportunities to leverage news resources group-wide; and IP connectivity that makes it possible to put more TV reporters on the street.1

Once upon a time, newsrooms created newscasts exclusively for air; but that’s in the past. Audiences are demanding their news on mobile devices, laptops, tablets, etc. Social media is also driving demand for news – so if you’re still preoccupied with your on-air newscast, you’re about to go the way of the dinosaur.

Chances are, though, that you’re looking to move forward and evolve. But how can we when the technology we’ve been using is becoming more outdated every day? And what about all that new tech that only does bits and pieces, forcing us to use various platforms with various log-in pages?

“Serving content across social media and OTT is a major challenge facing today’s TV newsrooms, and adding personnel is usually not an option to address the larger workload,” said Fred Fourcher, Bitcentral CEO.

The answer newsroom computer systems (NRCS) vendors have adopted is to put the story — rather than a newscast rundown — at the center of the process. As journalists begin creating news, they can access the elements they need —scripts, video clips and graphics — seamlessly from within the NRCS user interface and build stories for different delivery platforms without the hassle and confusion.1

Bitcentral is serving up the lion’s share of the solution with the various tools. Its CORE:news provides news production and master control and automation solutions that facilitate simplified broadcast and digital media workflows. Create is a single interface featuring a robust story-based workflow from video capture and encoding to editing, playout, publishing and archive.  It publishes content to wherever your customers want to see it; from TV to web to mobile and OTT.

“Multiplatform production, or what some people call a story-centric workflow, is absolutely one of the hottest areas in newsroom computer systems right now,” says Jason Smith, director of product design for AP’s ENPS.

“This is bleeding-edge tech that we’re making sure is constantly evolving. Rest on your laurels and the competition will surge past you”, Fourcher observes. “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback that suggests we’re doing the right thing. A lot of happy clients who let us know how much easier we’ve made their jobs. They love the tools we offer.”

Broadcasters are also increasingly asking NRCS vendors to grow the functions of their newsroom systems to the street where their reporters are gathering news.

 Again, Bitcentral comes to the forefront of this technology with its Oasis platform. Oasis allows you to share and repurpose stories from anywhere with anyone. It allows field journalists to pull video to and from Oasis to finish a package and they can feed video without satellite or microwave trucks. If you’re working in house, it allows you to discover valuable stories from other facilities and partners.

 Another such tool is Bitcentral’s Precis; it’s a full playout solution that integrates seamlessly into your workflow, driving play-to-air servers and ingest encoding ultimately taking rundowns to air. Precis creates a seamless production for everyone, allowing writers, producers and directors to quickly attach items to stories in rundowns, access all video sources (live and non-live) as well as manage publishing quickly – often in real time.




How Local News Stations Can Evolve in a TV Everywhere World

TV news is changing – and it’s changing fast. Its audience is splintering as quick as headlines are generated and local TV management is racing to figure out ways to catch up and, in some cases, just to stand still.

In 2012, local affiliates for Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS lost more than 6% of their audience in the important early morning, evening and late night slots. And even with record-high spending on political advertising in 2012, ad revenue for local television stations was well below the levels of the last decade.2

But at the same time, local news is still a very attractive proposition. Tribune is looking to get out of the newspaper business and focus on television, the same step Media General took in 2012 when it sold its newspapers, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, to become an entirely broadcast and digital media company. “Their focus is on the local markets,” Stephen Hayes, general manager of WTVR, said of Tribune. “What you don’t want is a broadcast group that is concerned with things other than Richmond, because that is who we are serving. They have definitely reinforced that.”1

With younger people tuning out local newscasts, there is growing concern that local TV news may be facing some of the financial challenges that have already battered the newspaper industry. And even as local TV newscasts seem to be doubling down on sports, traffic and weather, there are an ever increasing number of digital sources outside of television that provide that kind of information on demand.2

Ah, digital. That old (new) chestnut. So why should you – and more importantly how can you – take your local news and increase viewers by using the web to your advantage?

Today’s viewing habits are centered on convenience. Viewers have more devices to enable watching the content they want, from wherever they are, at any time. Content reaches viewers through a variety of methods. Viewers watch TV channels via direct-to-home services, paid satellite, cable, and IPTV services. In addition to these more traditional delivery means, consumers are also accessing content via online channels that provide content 24/7. These services mimic traditional TV in an online fashion. Users can choose from a variety of channels and watch round-the-clock programming.3 And that’s just what you want for your business, right? So in order to grow, you’ll need to expand digitally.





NEWS RELEASE: Bitcentral Announces WFFF Station Goes Live with CORE:news™

Bitcentral, Inc., a provider of digital and broadcast video workflow solutions, today announced the successful launch of Burlington, VT station WFFF on its news production suite, CORE:news. Nexstar-owned WFFF now has a complete news production, media management, collaboration and archiving solution in CORE:news. WFFF currently produces an average of 6.5 hours of news per day with a small staff.

WFFF Launches Bitcentral CORE:news

Nexstar’s WFFF launches with Bitcentral CORE:news.

“The Bitcentral system allows great flexibility and improved operation with editing and video playback systems that are very efficient,” said Craig Marrs, general manager for WFFF. “Bitcentral professionals worked tirelessly and held our hand through the entire install and training process, resulting in a flawless launch.”

CORE:news is an easy-to-use modular news production platform that combines content discovery, capture, editing, playout, publishing, collaboration, asset management and archiving into a single unified workflow. Bitcentral extends its congratulations and appreciation to the staff of WFFF for their partnership throughout the implementation process and looks forward to being a valued partner moving forward.