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News Channel Nebraska Relies on Aveco Automation

News Channel Nebraska
NCN has become the largest broadcast newsgathering force in Nebraska, with 15 radio stations, seven TV stations, and an active online community. that covers the state in eight zones. (Image credit: News Channel Nebraska)

NORFOLK, Neb.—NCN was developed with a vision to be the only in-state, independent television network of its kind. It is part of Flood Communications, honored by Inc. to be listed as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America this year.

As part of our growth, we’ve become the largest broadcast newsgathering force in Nebraska, with 15 radio stations, seven TV stations, and an active online community. For coverage, we have divided the state into eight zones, currently televise three regional live-sports games at a time and have (so far) two zones of live 24/7 news-sports-weather. News story production feeds quickly into NCN’s regional news portal.

FULL-TIME EFFICIENCY

Since launching in 2015, we’ve consistently pioneered new TV technology and with plans to expand and become more efficient in our operations, we came across Aveco and were impressed with their technology and their people. 

It’s critical to be staff-efficient in full-time news channels. Aveco had co-developed the first NewsWheel automation many years ago with former CNN technology head Ken Tiven and that model fit perfectly with our plans. By combining efficient news production automation, master control automation and media asset management in the same system, we’re able to scale with great efficiency, and continually improve on-air production quality.

News Channel Nebraska

Mike Flood (Image credit: News Channel Nebraska)

We saw what Aveco had accomplished with other major media companies–-ESPN, Fox, Televisa, CNN, TV Today, and ETV--and were especially impressed with their IBC Innovation Award in 2019 for a 24-news channel/24-studio project involving 5,000 reporters. Their type of NewsWheel efficiency was stunning and we’re adapting this to NCN. 

Aveco’s automation system controls Harmonic Spectrum for ingest-and-playout, Aveco Redwood graphics-and-video players, Panasonic 4k PTZ cameras, production switcher, audio mixer, routing switcher, and is designed to maximize news production efficiency through its proxy-based media asset management tied in with our Apple and Adobe editing platforms. Our football and basketball games use TriCasters in vans feeding via LiveU into our centralized Aveco master control. We use AccuWeather for forecast updates every 10 minutes, with our weathermen going live from California and/or Minnesota when needed. It’s a terrific combination. 

While we operate mainly in English, Omaha has the 45th largest Hispanic population in the U.S. and there’s great growth in our Telemundo TV station KOHA and radio station KBBX Lobo. Production and sharing of news in both English and Spanish is a great experience for our team and helps pave the way for future growth.

EVERFORWARD STRATEGIES

We’re honored to have EVERForward Strategies in Lincoln, Ne. as our project management team: Lisa Guill and Mike Fass both have vast experience in new channel launches and innovative TV system designs.

NCN mainly does news-sports-and-weather but our local entertainment programming, such as “Quarantine Concerts,” have been very popular, along with our Nebraska Huskers Football and Basketball shows and live English-and-Spanish coverage. We’ve won numerous awards but what’s most gratifying is our deep daily engagement with the communities we serve.

Our approach is to use the best tools in TV technology, along with a great staff, to serve all of Nebraska in one news operation, while greatly increasing local coverage—and do this with a high level of automation that lets us be solidly profitable. It’s great to see this working!

We appreciate our technology partners, such as Aveco, Harmonic, LiveU, Panasonic and others – we’re poised for meteoric growth and are confident in our ability to scale quickly and efficiently.

For more information visit www.aveco.com

Mike Flood is the founder of the Nebraska News Channel and Flood Communications, a reporter for NCN and an attorney at Jewell & Collins. Flood Communications began in 1999 and now owns eight radio stations. In 2015, Flood launched Norfolk’s first television station and has since added new television stations in Columbus, Beatrice, Sioux City, Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island. These radio and television stations work together as a statewide media network called “News Channel Nebraska.” He can be reached at mflood@newschannelnebraska.com.