KXAS-TV, the NBC O&O serving the Dallas-Fort Worth market this week announced plans to build a new 75,000sq-ft broadcast and multimedia news facility designed to improve workflow efficiency, eliminate the silos that separate departments and provide the flexibility needed to accommodate future needs.
Planning for the new facility, to be situated on an 8.1-acre site in Fort Worth, began some two years ago when Matt Varney, VP, Technology, and station management began interviewing station personnel about what would be required of a new facility. "We conducted visioning sessions with every employee of the station," says Varney. "We wanted to find out what works, what doesn't and what people do on a day-to-day basis."
From those sessions, one overarching design theme emerged: Everybody in the station should have access to all of the content at the same time. "It's not about the silo of news; not about the silo of production," explains Varney. "All departments needed to manipulate the content for their own purposes. News, promotions, community affairs, mobile, Web — they all need access to the content without it being difficult," he adds.
While Varney declined to disclose the names of the vendors and integrators selected for the project, he did say that the new facility will make use of open, best-of-breed hardware and software that can be easily replaced to accommodate changing requirements in the future. "Everything needs to be modular, so that it is easy to pull out and plug in next thing," explains Varney. Another key design criterion is use of nonproprietary storage employing a SAN or NAS architecture that extends beyond the newsroom.
Construction of the new facility, which will combine existing station facilities located in east Fort Worth and Dallas, begins this month and will be completed in time to for the 2014 Winter Games.
Besides providing a new home to KXAS-TV, the facility also will be used by Telemundo O&O KXTX-TV and other small businesses associated with parent company NBC Universal. It will be flexible enough to allow both stations to share multiple control rooms and studios, says Varney.