Cox Broadcasting recently hired Digital System Technology to conduct a first-of-its-kind feasibility study on the economic and operational benefits of implementing a centralized distribution model for the broadcast station group. The report will focus on how a centralized system would work for each of a number of stations, and what the overall return on investment would be.
The study is examining the operations of 15 Cox stations in San Francisco; Reno, Nev.; El Paso, Texas; Seattle; Charlotte, N.C.; Orlando, Fla.; Atlanta; Dayton, Ohio; Pittsburgh; Steubenville, Ohio and Johnstown, Penn. Cox is open to a possible partial solution, with regions of the country centralized together, but is first looking for solid findings on benefits versus the cost of implementation.
DST is charting task flows for each station and designing a map on how a centralized distribution system would work within each station. DST is trying to discover which tasks, if any, can be performed from a central location without impacting a station's local image or business flexibility.
With a centralized distribution network, a staff will be able to concentrate on more in-house operations, such as news production, promotion, financial operations, and less on the technical aspects of running the station. The company will look at the overall budget, the costs of connectivity and equipment and come back with an answer on Cox's return on investment with a centralized model. DST expects to finish the study in July.
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