Gray TV pursues Omaha model with Harris

Looking to cost-effectively upgrade its existing news production and distribution activities, independent station group Gray Television is building out a new strategy for its newsroom systems based on Harris Nexio HD servers and ADC automation systems. The broadcast group has so far converted six of its 36 stations to include the Harris technology.

Jim Ocon, vice president of technology for Gray Television, developed the concept, called “The Omaha Model,” based on his initial design for WOWT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Omaha, NE. The emphasis is on improving profit margins and operating more efficiently by eliminating a local master control center. This will be accomplished with the Harris automation and server systems.

The Omaha Model dramatically changes the technical workflow at Gray TV stations by relying on Nexio servers for both its master control and news production operations. Ocon adds that ADC automation acts as a “force multiplier” for everything the stations do, including traffic and billing operations using Harris OSi software; and the launch of new DTV subchannels and ATSC Mobile DTV channels.

WOWT was among the first stations in the country to install equipment during the candidate phase of the technology, and Ocon has also played an active roll in launching mobile DTV technology, based on the Harris MPH system, at several Gray TV stations. Gray TV has also recently been contracted to manage seven New Young Broadcasting stations.