TownNews Expands Blackbird Partnerships to 39 TV Stations

LONDON—Blackbird plc, a U.K.-based provider of the Blackbird cloud-based news production platform, has announced that digital news publisher TownNews has extended its adoption of Blackbird to 14 additional TV stations, bringing the total to 39 stations in 24 states. This is the third time the organization has expanded its use of Blackbird in less than 12 months, according to the company.

The additional stations are owned by seven broadcast groups that provide premium local news content to millions of viewers across the United States.

TownNews' TV news customers use the Blackbird platform in conjunction with the TownNews Field59 VMS to rapidly view, edit and publish video content in an SaaS cloud environment. 

In June 2018, Moline, Ill.-based TownNews launched the combined solution into 17 Meredith Corporation locations across 11 states. In December 2018, they extended this further into three networks owned by Block Communications.

"Our strong partnership with the successful TownNews group is growing quickly and has doubled the number of networks served within a year,” said Ian McDonough, CEO of Blackbird. “Blackbird and TownNews now serve 39 networks in 24 states which demonstrates our scalability. 

"The American news industry is evolving rapidly to accommodate digital consumption. This is where TownNews and Blackbird can add significant revenue advantages in speed and productivity. Commercially our partnership is a great example of a successful OEM strategy where Blackbird and TownNews land and then expand."

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.