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WVPT-TV is a 42-year-old public TV station focused on using the power of broadcasting to bring education and culture to its viewers, an audience spread over four states, 40 counties and two distinct market areas. With seven transmitters straddling Harrisonburg, VA, and Hagerstown, MD, WVPT competes not only with itself, but with sophisticated and better-funded stations serving the densely populated areas surrounding the capital. Hence, the PBS outlet is challenged to operate as efficiently as possible, using the best available workflow paradigms to sustain high content quality and ensure its accessibility to the widest possible audience.

WVPT embarked on its journey of workflow transformation some eight years ago, seeking to integrate content scheduling and asset management within a fully digital environment. Station management recognized that “intense communication” with manufacturers, as well as its own staff, throughout the process would yield the best results. WVPT approached vendors with requests to maximize the automation of mundane functions to free personnel for tasks best performed by people. Myers Information Systems, the station’s long-time traffic supplier, listened carefully and responded. The company’s ProTrack broadcast management suite became the project’s central unifying element. Coupled with Titan automation from Sundance Digital (now Avid), WVPT’s infrastructure evolved as new technologies and industry standards, such as BXF, made management’s goals increasingly attainable.

Based on its successful relationship with Myers dating back to 1997, WVPT recently topped off the project with the installation of ProTrack’s new MAM module, which provides comprehensive, business rule-based life cycle control over the station’s digital files. ProTrack ensures that multichannel/multiplatform content is properly identified, catalogued, moved to and from the appropriate playback platform, and sent to archive until needed again. Asset locations, audio and video format, aspect ratio and other relevant metadata are readily accessible through the user interface and to the various automated processes that handle migration between storage devices, playlist (automation) tasks and other content management functions.

Today, WVPT enjoys a tight and efficient workflow between traffic and master control managing six on-air playlists, seamlessly exchanging metadata between its traffic and master control operations. With ProTrack in the lead, the station’s content is reliably managed, scheduled, distributed and repurposed. And thanks to built-in exception monitoring, alert messaging and robust remote access, master control was scaled back to an unattended 24/7 operation without laying off staff; all six operators were successfully assimilated into other departments.

ProTrack’s MAM and other modules allow the station to meet and exceed “connected viewer” expectations with timely content repurposing delivered across the spectrum of delivery platforms and devices. WVPT’s ProTrack-centered workflow has freed station staff to more directly interact with the communities they serve while making content more accessible than ever before.

  • Station automation
    Submitted by Myers Information SystemsDesign teamWVPT-TV: Tony Mancari, COO; Arlene Williams, QC eng.; Scott Kessler, maintenance eng.; John Harper, eng. mgr.; Jon Wenger, field services eng.
    Myers Information Systems: Crist A. Myers, president/CEO; Nancy Carter, dir. of market. and customer relations; Eugene Diana, dir. of soft. dev.; Tracy Carter, CTO
    Sundance Digital (Avid): Robert C. Johnson, (former) pres.; Eric Harrington, (former) dir. of eng.; Rick Stora, prod. mgr.
    CUC Solutions: Scot Lamb, pres.; Paul Thurman, VP sales; Derek Black, VP tech.
    SeaChange International: Phil Tillotson, dir. strat. acct.; Dick Scott, mgr. special proj.; John Keenan, broadcast service mgr.; Chris Stitsel, sr. support eng.Technology at workAvid (Sundance Digital): Titan automation
    CUC: Archive system
    Myers Information Systems: ProTrack TV broadcast management system, MAM module
    SeaChange International: SD and HD file stores

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