Jim Ocon Launches New Company Targeting News Contribution Innovation

FORT COLLINS, COLO.—Jim Ocon, a familiar face to many broadcasters, two weeks ago launched Ocon Solutions Company, a Fort Collins, Colo.-based engineering consultancy to address what he sees as a dearth of innovation at stations when it comes to field contribution for news and to plug the budgetary hole of wireless data plan overages.

“Back in 2009 or 2010, right around then when the economy was really in the bucket, I think there was a lot more innovation going on,” says Ocon, who is president and chief innovation officer. “As Warren Buffet would say, you can always tell who’s not wearing swimming trunks when the tide goes out. In other words, prosperous times tend to hide bad practices.”

One way those bad practices are showing up is in newsroom budgets for wireless data plans that are needed to facilitate use of IP newsgathering backpacks. “Every manager we talk to about the budget talks about the data plan. One station in particular had to add $75,000 a year alone because they had not accounted for the overages and they are having to reduce staff. I think this is an area where we can really help,” he says.

Ocon says he is uniquely qualified to help stations to solve the problem, and he may be right. While at Gray Television, Ocon led an experimental effort called GrayMax to use IP-based radios on 2GHz BAS channels. After leaving Fox Television Stations in Dallas, he moved to Persistent Systems where he was VP of business development and given responsibility for rolling out the Wave Relay Mobile Ad Hoc Networking (MANET) solution to broadcasters.

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“My aim is to help stakeholders realize a new way to leverage their infrastructure, which I prefer to call out-fra-structure,” says Ocon. “Let’s rebuild the networks that stations or groups own to facilitate IP journalism.”

For more information on Ocon Solutions Company email: jim.ocon@comcast.net.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.