“We needed to empower our newsrooms to be able to do their jobs better, wherever the story is,” declares Brady Dreasler, Director of Engineering at Quincy Media, Inc. “News plays a big role in what we do; not just from an editorial standpoint but from a revenue standpoint.”
Quincy Media, Inc., headquartered in Quincy, Illinois, owns and operates television stations and digital platforms in 13 markets in the Midwestern United States and maintains network affiliations with ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, and FOX. The broadcast leader also operates newspapers and radio stations and is dedicated to providing customers with the content they want on the platforms they prefer.
Recently, Quincy Media implemented end-to-end, story-centric workflows by standardizing 14 newsrooms across its station group on the Avid MediaCentral platform. “Avid MediaCentral is part of the toolset we need to be strong and healthy in news,” states Dreasler. “Now, we can refresh content easily and continuously by accessing news stories across our station group, which vastly expands our digital assets.”
Journalists are creating and editing breaking news in the field
“My team’s job is to solve challenges, to get people and equipment resources where they need to be, and to get the video, whether it’s complete or not, back to the station,” continues Dreasler. “One of the most valuable opportunities we identified on the news side is to be as functional in the field as we are in the newsroom.”
Based on this insight, Quincy Media equipped each of its multimedia journalists with a laptop, camera, and access to the MediaCentral platform. MediaCentral provides a common user interface that provides everyone across the station group with access to the same tools. Now, journalists are empowered to be more productive while in the field; they’re creating content, writing scripts, editing and sending packages back to the station, and getting video on-air and on-line faster—all from their laptops.
As journalists pull video off the camera, it goes right onto the laptop. They create their story in MediaCentral | Newsroom Management, edit their video using Media Composer | NewsCutter Option, and transmit it back to the newsroom with high-speed file transfer. “It means now we don’t have our field team rushing 100 miles back to the studio to make the newscast,” explains Dreasler. “With MediaCentral, we are getting breaking news on the air much easier.”
Dreasler also is quick to point out that the MediaCentral platform gives stations the discretion to deploy resources however they think best; whether it’s a single journalist, a team, or a production truck, while relying less and less on traditional ENG and SNG trucks.
Prior to implementing MediaCentral, Quincy only had four to six editors in each newsroom, which often caused a bottleneck while everyone waited to get their packages edited. Field-based editing eliminated this bottleneck and is enabling Quincy to get news to air quickly and seamlessly; and, when necessary, deliver breaking news at the last minute.
“This is a game changer for us,” states Dreasler. “When you combine the capacity to be autonomous in the field, leveraging the ability to create scripts in iNEWS, the ability to deliver stories in iNEWS from the field, and the ability to edit anywhere, with the technology to be able to transfer video and go live, you’ve got a game changer.”
Avid MediaCentral is part of the toolset we need to be strong and healthy in news.
Brady Dreasler, Director of Engineering
Expedited sharing of rich assets is maximizing their value
Dreasler also points out that Quincy benefits from the ability to share content easily. Quincy’s newsrooms communicate with each other in real-time about available stories, and MediaCentral enables them to share content between stations. News producers simply log on to see content available within the Quincy Media Group and they can push or pull content to and from production systems within their station group.
“If you look at our footprint, there’s a lot of content from one market that’s valuable in our other markets. And, the way we configure our systems allows each station to see the others’ content, pull it, and share it in a very easy fashion.”
Quincy’s recent coverage of the Super Bowl showcased how easily MediaCentral’s integrated media production workflow enables Quincy’s news stations to create, edit, distribute, and share content in real-time.
More than 110 million viewers tune into the Super Bowl and this year, the game was held in Quincy Media’s backyard, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Five of Quincy’s news stations had journalists on the ground feeding exclusive, first-hand coverage of the events leading up to the game feeding several other Quincy Media stations, maximizing the value of the content.
When you combine the capacity to be autonomous in the field, leveraging the ability to create scripts in iNEWS, the ability to deliver stories in iNEWS from the field, and the ability to edit anywhere, with the technology to be able to transfer video and go live, you’ve got a game changer.
Brady Dreasler, Director of Engineering
Six of Quincy’s stations also pool content on an on-going, weekly basis, to produce a shared weekly newscast. One station produces the newscast and redistributes the content to the other six stations located across the state. “Without the connectivity and common, standardized workflows we get with MediaCentral, it would be close to impossible to do that show,” reports Dreasler.
Expanding access to news on the platforms customers prefer
The other area where Quincy Media is seeing a significant impact from their MediaCentral workflow is integration with other platforms, including web, mobile, and Facebook. “The needs of these platforms are voracious because they’re live all the time,” explains Dreasler. “So, the ability for reporters to be autonomous and to have everything they need in the field, supports our other platforms, as well. Now, long before we get a finished product on the air, we’re feeding back pieces of content; we’re sending information, video, and sound to multiple platforms through our MediaCentral workflow.”
For Quincy Media, it’s all about the stories
MediaCentral is enabling Quincy Media to get breaking news on air much faster and easier, vastly expand its content assets, and maximize the value of those assets by expediting access across the station group. “On the technical side, our job is to make sure journalists can do their job. We’ve given them the tools to produce the hours and hours of newscasts that we air,” concludes Dreasler. “Before MediaCentral, there were always reasons why we couldn’t get stuff done or there was a bottleneck here or there. Now those bottlenecks have evaporated. Now, it just works. Our journalists can focus on content.”