Excellence Awards Crisoin WBTV

Category Newsroom technology Submitted by Crispin Design team Crispin: Rodney Mood,
CTO; Jim Zagrobelny, VP
of software development;
Dave Blatchford, sr.
software eng.; Will Owen,
sr. software eng.; Bob
Valinski, dir. of business
development; Tom
Kingsley, chief sales eng.
Lincoln Financial Media
WBTV-TV: Henry Boze,
VP eng./TV; Don Shaw,
dir. of op./eng.; Dennis
Milligan, news dir.; Ron
Yoslov, chief eng. Technology at work Autocue QNews
newsroom computer
Crispin NewsCat
Grass Valley NewsEdit

Lincoln Financial Group creates a tapeless workflow for three local stations

WBTV-TV, in Charlotte, NC, is owned by Lincoln Financial Group, which also owns WWBT-TV in Richmond, VA, and WCSC-TV in Charleston, SC.

As WBTV moved to nonlinear editors and video servers, it recognized a need to reduce the time-consuming process of dubbing news stories to videotape. Looking to complete the tapeless workflow, the station became a beta site for Crispin’s NewsCat automation in October 2005. NewsCat provided a return on investment almost immediately. The station eliminated tapes and VTRs in the edit rooms and reduced the amount of real estate needed for the tape library — an estimated 35 years worth of news tapes. To date, WWBT has archived more than 14,000 clips.

Overall, WBTV produces 58 hours of news each week. Much of this content needs to be archived. To date, the station has archived more than 12,000 clips.

The entire archive system only occupies 8RU. This includes the database/Web server, low-res encoder and 5.6TB of RAID storage.

NewsCat makes an archive copy of each clip on the Profile after airing, based on the rundown. It provides a method to easily locate material at a later date. Archived video clips are linked to a database containing all script information from the QNews newsroom computer system.

The database functionality includes an extensive search function. Producers and editors can search for a story using traditional parameters. Low-res proxies are created for each archived clip, enabling journalists to preview material on their desktops before restoring to the edit room. Users can also create a library of generic file video by annotating news footage with keywords and descriptions. The browser-enabled system allows all producers to simultaneously access archived video clips using a standard Web browser from anywhere on the network. This eliminates the need for dedicated software terminals, which not only enhances workflow but also makes it easier to maintain the system.

The video storage solution enables users to retrieve about 12 months of the most recent news video using nearline storage. Older material is permanently stored as a digital file on removable media, which is tracked by the archive database.

By using relevant, archived news footage more frequently, WBTV improved its on-air appearance. NewsCat was the last piece of the station’s tapeless workflow, which led to increased operational and staffing efficiencies.

WCSC produces fi ve-and-a-half hours of daily newscasts, including a half-hour daily newscast for FOX affi liate WTAT. Its NewsCat installation took place over a few weeks in August 2006.