Citadel Upgrades Ops With Video Technics System

BRONXVILLE, N.Y.—Citadel Communications owns and operates five television stations in Nebraska, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Illinois, and is headquartered here in Bronxville.

The Video Technics Apella video file server We initiated a program to upgrade our stations to high-definition some time ago. Our daily operational workflow previously involved automated play-to-air of commercial material using Odetics Air Play system technology.

We knew that we had to break away from this and began investigating state-of-the-art methodologies for automated playout of commercial and other content. Our search led us to Video Technics and their Apella video server system. Its scalability, ease of use, and affordable price point proved to be perfect for our needs.


We ultimately implemented a group-wide system, with four out of our five television stations running a Video Technics automated master control system. It includes an Apella HDS six- channel video server, along with five seats of VT Proxy Editor for low-res prepping and media management, VT HotFolder for file-based content ingest, and two seats of VT Scheduler Pro to handle automation. The fifth station runs two Apella HDS video servers with a NAS shared storage and a central database server for news playout, as well as master control content.

Since implementing this package, we have increased our commercial airtime to some five hours per day and are now running 24/7 operations without any additional manpower or overhead expenses.

Before adding the Video Technics package we had to digitize each clip and perform manual ingest. Now personnel at our stations can simply drag and drop file-based media directly into the system.


In most of the operations in our station group the equipment we'd been using was approaching 15 years of continuous operation, and we had a lot of day-to-day maintenance issues to deal with. With the addition of the Video Technics server package, we've been able to say goodbye to our videotape problems and reap the advantages of a smooth running and dependable workflow. The new automation package has gone a long way in allowing us to create a totally "hands-off" operation too.

I have to give special recognition to the Video Technics team that's done a really good job of handling our support needs. The company has been great to work with, and has dedicated a great deal of their time and resources during the past year helping us make refinements to their operating software to meet our particular needs.

Video Techics Apella video file servers are at the heart of our new file-based automation operations, and their addition has allowed us to move our station group into the world of file-based high-definition digital broadcasting. The Video Technics implementation has helped us reduce operating costs and improve our revenue streams. For us, this has provided a significant return on our investment and has certainly made a positive impact on our bottom line.

Dan Ackerman has served as vice president of engineering at Citadel Communications for the past 11 years. His career with that company spans 24 years. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact Video Technics at 404-327-8300 or visit