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FARGO, N.D.—As Chief Engineer for WDAY TV & Radio—covering North and South Dakota, and most of Minnesota—I was recently tasked with upgrading our automation system. Unfortunately we did not have a practical path for an upgrade.

Florical’s SmartCentral and AssetCollectors system in use in WDAY control room.

The station previously employed a Sundance Digital automation system from Avid, but the system was outdated and Avid announced that it was dropping the Sundance product altogether, with support ending in 2019. With Avid/Sundance exiting the automation world, we needed something new.

Our entire master control was comfortable as-is and we had a significant footprint of existing broadcast gear to leverage, but we wanted to take advantage of advanced tools available from automation vendors. So we started the search at the NAB Show along with our systems integrator and technology consultants at Alpha Video.


To keep up with our group owner Forum Communications’ strong tradition, I needed a system that could rapidly and accurately acquire and quickly turn around content for air. WDAY’s environment exceeded most call-letter station’s requirements, therefore our list of automation capabilities was quite extensive. WDAY’s master control manages a total of six different channels in three separate markets with news, live programming and content sharing across all channels and various platforms. We also acquire content from satellite, digital delivery services for syndication and national ads, as well as local production and creative teams. Our traffic department also needs help managing and accessing information for automation.

With all of these specific requirements, Alpha Video suggested Florical’s Smart- Central and AssetCollectors as the systems that could most effectively meet all of our needs, while at the same time offer a refining workflow and expanding functionality.


Florical’s SmartCentral and AssetCollector opened a web-based world of apps anyone could access from anywhere. This helped us immediately make information and tools available to decisionmakers outside our master control. The workflow is very simple, yet robust and bullet proof.

The Deployment went very smoothly, especially given the size and scope of our requirements. We have experienced zero on-air incidents since our launch more than a year ago. When we had questions, Florical support was very responsive and eager to help. Our install went exactly as planned and technical support is exactly as it was sold, top notch.

It has been an extremely stable system and WDAY has no regrets in the decision to go with Florical Automation.

Dave Johnson is the chief engineer for WDAY-TV, He can be contacted at 701-241- 5222.

For more information, visitwww.florical.comor call 352-372-8326.