“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?,” is not just an old song title. It was a daunting unknown objective for the ultra-organized project manager Lisa Pedrogo in mid-November. She has overseen major projects for CNN and Turner Broadcasting (prior to its merger into AT&T’s WarnerMedia), but didn’t yet know the plan for CNN’s live Times Square telecast on Dec. 31.
Pedrogo supervised last year’s WarnerMedia development of its new 110,000 square-foot Hudson Yards facility and, 15 years earlier, managed the creation of CNN’s production venue in the then-new Time-Warner Center at Columbus Circle. The uncertainty about this year’s New Year’s Eve party was frustrating, although she felt able to handle whatever task ultimately evolved.
Pedrogo manages the engineering team that supports news and sports production at Hudson Yards, including maintenance of all technical production equipment and facilities for CNN, plus desktop support for other WarnerMedia news, sports and entertainment groups.
When she began her career, with a nontechnical degree, Pedrogo worked as a production assistant for CNN’s Business News and assigned to its flagship Lou Dobbs newscast. She moved up to an assignment editor and producer and eventually joined Dobbs when he launched Space.com. After the dotcom bubble burst, Pedrogo returned to CNN.
At CNNfn, she oversaw the media management process during the conversion to Avid nonlinear editing. CNN was a beta test site for Avid, she explained, which had only one other customer for the product.
“The variety of formats that are out there and remain there,” is the major hurdle for today’s media industry, Pedrogo said, citing the strategic decisions that went into plans for WarnerMedia’s Hudson Yards studio, which supports multimedia content creation and other forward-vision features. “We are moving to software-based technologies.”
IP is the next big thing, Pedrogo added. “Making it affordable for smaller networks is the challenge,” as is security.
By mid-November, Pedrogo was still thinking about the New Year’s Eve telecast, knowing that whenever the production decision is made, her team will be up to the challenge.
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