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WSHM becomes nation’s first to put Grass Valley Ignite system on-air

Last month WSHM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Springfield, MA, became the first station in the country to go on-air with a new Grass Valley Ignite automated production system.

The system, operated by a single operator, handles all production and has enabled the station to add more than six hours of local news coverage each week to a programming schedule that did not have news before.

At Meredith Broadcasting-owned WSHM-TV, the Ignite system delivers a clean-looking on-air image for its new newscasts — a half hour at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. seven days a week — which has instantly made it competitive and able to generate revenue in the local news business. Once the system has been in operation for several months, the station plans to add more locally produced news programs to its schedule.

The Ignite system works in tandem with the station’s four M-Series servers (eight playout ports) inside an existing office building in Springfield. Signals are sent to a master control facility in Hartford, via a dedicated fiber-optic link.

For many years WSHM, located in market 106, had taken news programming from its sister station, WFSB-TV, in Hartford, CT. About two years ago, station management made a deal with the local cable operator to carry WSHM exclusively in the area. With Ignite, the community gets more local programming while Meredith gains from the Grass Valley Ignite system's efficiencies.

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