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New WCSC digital newsroom gives station competitive edge

WCSC, the Raycom Media-owned CBS affiliate in Charleston, SC, has transformed how it produces, shares and archives news by putting in place an entirely digital file-based workflow.

Putting in place Bitcentral’s Précis news production system and Oasis archiving and file sharing system, the station “took a huge leap” in its culture and technology, says WCSC chief engineer Mike Gurthie. The implementation on the new workflow and technology was massive, requiring eight new Thomson Grass Valley EDIUS editing bays, a raw video repository platform and dual playout control/servers as well as full ENPS integration.

“Initially, a shift this big was a scary thought,” Gurthie said. “We were about to change the entire infrastructure of our newsroom and how it operates on all levels.”

However, thorough, precise planning and assistance from Bitcentral’s engineering team and ENPS helped the station pull off the workflow transformation smoothly and put its first newscast on-air “without a hitch,” he said.

The launch began a new era at the station. Its new turnkey system delivers a browser- and file-based workflow with a high degree of scalability. It allows SD and HD video content to be delivered easily to multiple platforms without video file transcoding.

Bitcentral’s Oasis completed the news production ecosystem by enabling archiving and ENPS integration as well as the ability to share stories between sister stations with a click of a mouse. To support the station’s conversion, WCSC and Bitcentral conducted an intensive training program to ensure the station immediately could turn the efficiencies of the new file-based production system into a competitive advantage in the market.

“It’s the efficient workflow of how quick you can get your content to air that helps keep you competitive,” Gurthie said. “When I have a guy out on the field editing a package on a laptop and he can send that file to the station and have it on air in multiple markets within minutes — that’s huge.”

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