HENDERSON, Nev.—There was a bit of apprehension in June 2009 when the Meredith Corp. management decided to turn over the newscasts of our Las Vegas market Fox affiliate to a Grass Valley Ignite automated production system. This technology was new to us then, forcing us to work smarter and look at news production in a completely different way.
Two years later, we couldn't be happier with the performance of the system. Our technical staff embraced it very quickly and it has enhanced our daily local programming, which is now up to eight and a half hours of news and entertainment programming each day, all done with a very small staff.
STREAMLINING AND SIMPLIFYING
The Grass Valley Ignite system has been a huge improvement and has made us extremely efficient in the production of our daily newscasts. Before Ignite went on line, we had a separate operator for each piece of equipment. Now we're the perfect example of a one-man-band—one operator runs everything. When a producer asks for breaking news or some new element to be added to the newscast, there's only a single person (the technical producer) that's involved. That's very powerful in terms of getting things done quickly and efficiently.
The system has also cut down on-air errors tremendously as only one person is in control. He or she can quickly assess the situation and stay focused while keeping the newscast clean and on track. Additionally, the Ignite system performs the same error-free way every time. We don't have to worry about a technical director who might be absent that day or perhaps miss a cue.
ALLOWS MORE CREATVITY
And the shows continue to get better. We've added wipes and transitions that used to take a lot more effort to produce. Our on-air quad boxes are also better than they were before Ignite.
The real value with Ignite is that producing many of these elements can be achieved with a single action. In many cases it can be a single keystroke.
Customer service is another element in this Ignite installation. We couldn't have been as successful as we are without the help of the Grass Valley tech specialists. We're using a Wheatstone audio console with our Ignite system and this required Grass Valley to write software to automate the console with Ignite. This project was very skillfully completed and the system has been running smoothly ever since.
KVVU-TV was the first of Meredith's West Coast stations to use Ignite. Based on our positive experience, Meredith stations in Portland, Ore. and Phoenix have also installed the system. Any station that is looking into improving operational efficiency without increasing staff should take a look at the Grass Valley Ignite system.
We're in the business of producing the best quality news product that we can with the resources at hand. We do that each and every day with the Grass Valley Ignite system and our competition is not happy.
Gary Prager has served as production manager and senior director at KVVU-TV since 1998. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Grass Valley at 800-547-8949 or visit grassvalley.com.