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Belo migrates St. Louis station to automated newscast production

Following a trend to decrease operating costs and streamline production, KMOV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis, MO, is now on-air with an Ignite HD automated production system from Grass Valley for its daily local HD (1080i) newscasts.

Citing the cost savings, Walt Nichol, director of technology, said KMOV is the first station to go with control room automation among Belo’s television stations, “and based on our success so far, I’m sure we won't be the last.”

The automated production system went live on Sept. 25,and the station said it has already benefited from a marked improvement in its technical capabilities. Belo, KMOV’s parent company, is using the Ignite system in the St. Louis market as a proof of concept for its 17 other stations.

The Ignite HD system at KMOV includes 3M/Es, 16 control ports, and is completely scalable from 24 to 96 video inputs and 24 to 96 audio inputs. The control room system consists of an integrated Grass Valley Kayak HD video production switcher and audio mixer that simplifies production and allows a single operator to run an entire newscast. Optional video and audio panels are available for those broadcasters, like KMOV, that want the option to employ a manually operated system.

The station already had a Kayak HD video production switcher, which was paired an existing Vinten Rademec HD robotic camera system, Avid HD servers, a Bitcentral HD news-editing platform and Chyron HyperX HD graphics systems. They also purchased a Klotz Digital audio mixing system for the Ignite to handle stereo audio feeds.

In addition to its five daily newscasts, KMOV will also use the Ignite system in manual mode to produce a one-hour local morning show called “Great Day St. Louis,” which airs every weekday.