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JVC Continues March into Mid-Sized Stations

IRVING, TEXAS and NEW YORK: JVC continued its march into mid-sized TV stations with two deals announced at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Both Nexstar and Hearst tapped JVC for hi-def upgrades at local station news operations. Texas-based Nexstar, which owns 62 TV stations, is upgrading at least eight of them. Hearst, with 29 stations, is upgrading at six more this year after converting nine to JVC ProHD gear.

Newport Television of Kansas City, Mo., announced last month it was taking its 14 stations with news operations hi-def with JVC ProHD camcorders and cameras. WGHP-TV, the Local TV-owned Fox affiliate in High Point, N.C., adopted JVC ProHD gear for news last month. Weigel Broadcasting, Waterman Broadcasting, the 10 Scripps TV stations, at least 10 of Raycom’s 40-plus TV stations have all transition local news operations to HD on JVC gear.

Lawrence Librach, vice president of the broadcast and public sector division of JVC Professional Productions estimated that around 150 TV stations have upgraded local news operations to HD on JVC gear.

Nexstar will convert at least eight stations this year in an ongoing strategy to convert all of its local newsrooms from tape-based to file-based operations, using solid-state recording media for ENG work, according to Nexstar senior vice president of station operations, Blake Russell.

Nexstar stations in Hagerstown, Md.; Altoona, Penn.; Rockford, Ill.; Monroe-El Dorado, La.; Beaumont and Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas will be converted to JVC ProHD gear by the end of 2010.

Nexstar will use JVC’s new GY-HM790, introduced at the 2010 NAB Show, for studio camera configurations moving forward. KARK-TV in Little Rock, Ark., will become the first station in the country to use the new camera.

Other Nexstar stations not scheduled for complete conversion in 2010 may also be outfitted with JVC ProHD gear down the road as older gear is phased out, Russell said.

Nexstar is already using JVC ProHD cameras at KUTV-TV, the CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City for ENG. The station is owned by Four Points Media but operated by Nexstar. KSNF-TV and KODE-TV, an NBC and ABC duopoly in Joplin, Mo., adopted JVC ProHD camcorders for ENG in February. Footage is being archived at 16:9 even though the stations are still transmitting local news in SD.

New York-based Hearst Television is standardizing on JVC ‘s GY-HM100 ProHD camcorders for its Next Generation Newsroom Project. The initiative involves news teams streaming live footage online as well as editing packages for broadcast.

“What we’re pushing is to get more content...faster and direct from the field,” said Hearst TV technology project director, Joe Addalia. “Our goal is to increase our reach and win at local news. We’re always live.”

Following a pilot program in which three stations were converted to JVC ProHD gear in 2009, Hearst upgraded WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and KETV-TV in Omaha earlier this year, and six more stations now are using the GY-HM100s--KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo.; WLWT-TV in Cincinnati; WISN-TV in Milwaukee, Wis.; WGAL-TV in Lancaster, Penn.; KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City; KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa.

WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H.; and WESH-TV in Orlando, Fla., will be upgraded within a month, and six more stations are on deck for ProHD upgrades this year.
-- Deborah D. McAdams