MAY 29, 2015

Griffin Communications Stays Sharp with Avid


For more than 55 years, Oklahoma-based Griffin Communications has been one of the most innovative broadcasters in the United States—the company’s news station, News 9, installed the first weather radar in the country in 1959. And just like the residents of Oklahoma, Griffin has proven its ability to weather tough storms and continue moving forward. Reaching more than 90 percent of Oklahoma households, the Griffin network includes two television stations, a statewide radio network, multiple websites, and a mobile information distribution platform. The company’s news stations, located in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, have earned numerous national honors, including a Peabody Award and a National Edward R. Murrow Award.

In order to unite production teams between its Oklahoma City and Tulsa locations and create an integrated statewide news and media operation, Griffin recently embraced Avid Everywhere by implementing a complete end-to-end production workflow made up of solutions built upon the Avid MediaCentral platform—the industry’s most open, extensible, and customizable media platform. The new workflow enables Griffin to share content across multiple news and media divisions, enhance collaboration between team members, and increase productivity and maximize resources throughout the entire organization.


Updating an aging infrastructure

In the past, disconnected and disparate workflows made it difficult and cumbersome for Griffin production teams to share content between different locations. With no method of streaming or previewing stored media, teams were required to phone each other to get a description of the footage. If the team wanted to further preview the footage, one team would need to cut a 30 second clip and send it to a playout server while the other team recorded the clip as the footage rolled. Without an easy way of sharing media and stories, teams from the Oklahoma City and Tulsa stations would often cover the same events—wasting valuable time and resources.

Previously, both of our stations would send a team to cover major stories and sporting events. We needed a workflow that would enable us to maximize our media resources and more efficiently share content between both markets.


Thriving with a powerful new workflow

In order to maintain its position as a market leader and future proof workflows to meet the challenges of tomorrow, Griffin made the decision to overhaul the entire production infrastructure at the Oklahoma City and Tulsa stations. After eight months of careful consideration, the company made a unanimous decision to partner with Avid.

“We spoke with a lot of companies, but only Avid could address our most important issues and challenges through an integrated, end-to-end production workflow,” said Schroeder. “By sitting down with us and listening to our concerns, Avid was able to provide us with a solution that enables us to meet our business needs seamlessly, with a minimal amount of effort.”


The new Avid workflow has dramatically improved efficiency across every media department in the Griffin network. News teams from both stations can now access the same iNEWS newsroom management system, see all of the available content, and quickly get the media needed for stories. MediaCentral | UX—the cloud-based, web front-end to the Avid MediaCentral platform—enables Griffin’s news and sports crews working in the field to use iNEWS on their iPads to create and edit stories, access media, and work on projects remotely, greatly enhancing collaboration between reporters and the newsroom staff.

Both stations air a Sunday night sports show that originates from either Tulsa or Oklahoma City—depending on the week’s action. Now, both stations can easily access archival content stored on an Avid ISIS shared storage system, quickly transfer media, and broadcast programs from either control room using AirSpeed servers for playout. The new Avid workflow has made it much faster for production teams to find assets, edit media, and create content, resulting in higher quality programming.

With Avid Everywhere, we know that the longevity of the system is secure and we can keep our workflow for years to come. We’re constantly looking towards the future—and we don’t see anyone catching up to Avid anytime soon.


Finally, the number of newscasts has increased in both markets over the last five years, and the time saving workflows in Interplay | Production asset management enable Griffin teams to effectively manage the ever increasing amount of content, without the need for additional staff. Teams are now able to orchestrate time consuming tasks such as media movement, transcoding, and proxy generation in the background—so they can do more with less.

Looking to the future with Avid

As Griffin moves forward, Schroeder says they will continue to partner with Avid to stay on the cutting edge of media production. Since its beginning, Griffin has always embraced innovation, and the strong relationship with Avid will enable the company to continue that legacy far into the future.

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