For titles, KLRT uses Chyron’s Duet LEX character generator.
Owned by Clear Channel Communications, KLRT-TV is the local FOX affiliate in Little Rock, AR. Last year, the station launched its new 9 p.m. newscast — a full-hour newscast that runs seven nights per week — dubbed FOX 16 News at 9. In an unusual but enviable situation, the station was able to build everything from scratch, starting with the building and facilities to the purchase of all new equipment.
From the station's perspective, a key priority for this new newscast was to fully develop the brand — First Complete Local. It refers to the breaking news element, which is an integral part of the brand. When developing a brand for a newscast, presentation is not just important; it's paramount.
Working in tandem with station engineers, the news department looked closely at different vendors. We set our sights on being as seamless as possible and as tapeless as possible.
In addition, given that program presentation was one of the biggest opportunities we had in the Little Rock market, the visual aspects of the broadcasts were a major priority. Chyron products fit the bill. The station purchased Chyron's MOS newsroom computer system with AP's ENPS, Chyron's Duet LEX and Chyron's Aprisa RePlay video clip server.
The equipment enabled us to achieive our presentation goals. For example, the newscast needed to excel with crisp, vibrant animated graphics. Given the flexibility that these products allowed, especially in a live working news environment, it was quite impressive. That was the barometer for everything — to see how things will work in an unscripted, frenetic environment.
Moreover, anyone with a producing background in the broadcast business can tell how good a piece of equipment is or even how good a person is by how they react when they're out in the field and need to perform on the fly.
The primary challenge for the station has been that the equipment is high-tech, complex machinery and that the newscast personnel are mostly new people working with new equipment station-wide. As a result, we are not using our graphics creation and management products to their full potential. We know that we can do so much more, but our engineers and technical crew members haven't had the chance to learn all the various capabilities of our new units. Right now, we are producing only one show, so our use is fairly limited. The next step for our facility is to get more training so we can use our new equipment to its maximum potential.
In the meantime, the graphics equipment is allowing the station to fulfill its goals. As far as presentation goes, we are still ahead of the curve because our on-air presentation has shown marked improvement regarding our ability to be flexible in live, breaking-news situations and by improving the look of our animated graphics. We are certainly getting what we need out of our new equipment. Further, all Chyron equipment has proven to be user-friendly and backed by top-notch customer service.
In fact, customer service was one of the main points taken into consideration when we selected our vendors. That is still crucial to the station, especially when looking at a MOS newsroom environment where there are so many vendors. Tracking down problems isn't always the easiest thing when equipment is tied together. That made the customer service all the more important.
Thanks to our new graphics-creation and content-management equipment, FOX 16 News at 9 is now poised for success.
Michael Fabac is the news director for KLRT-TV.