Allbritton Communications' challenges became opportunities when it combined two properties under one roof in September. WJLA-TV (Channel 7), Washington's ABC affiliate, and Cable NewsChannel 8, moved into a new 76,000-square-foot facility in Arlington, VA. Shared resources and close interaction between operations created numerous possibilities for personnel, business and production efficiencies.
The complex installation was accomplished in a phased approach, with NewsChannel 8 moving in first, closely followed by WJLA-TV. The facility was designed with separate studios and individual control rooms furnished with similar equipment. Wheatstone's TV-80 audio console, manufactured to enable stations with a strong local news commitment to deliver fast-paced, up-to-the-minute news, was selected to produce audio for both facilities, along with factory pre-wired harnesses that helped expedite the installation process. Wheatstone previously furnished Allbritton with numerous consoles, successfully serving the station group across many years.
NewsChannel 8, a 24-hour cable news channel serving Washington and its suburbs, opted to replace its aging console with the TV-80. Allbritton's extensive experience with Wheatstone's performance and support clinched the decision.
WJLA-TV — Allbritton's flagship station - moved their two-year-old TV-80 from its former location in the highly competitive Washington, DC, news market.
The TV-80's dedicated IFB mix-minus busses fit perfectly into the multi-station, news-intensive environment, providing logical paths for streamlining operations that will result in cost savings. The stations share a fleet of seven ENG and three satellite trucks. The mix-minus busses enable one truck and one reporter to cover the same story consecutively for both stations. Crews can also move between the two studios with no loss in audio transmission.
The TV-80 features all electronic switching to ensure the highest reliability and error-proof operation from a streamlined, economical and ergonomical package. Features include modular construction permitting component-level maintenance, LED illumination on every switch, an operator-intuitive eight-bus mix-minus system with external confidence feeds and talkback, and a master confidence IFB panel that can be linked to external tallies.
Allbritton's history with Wheatstone also furnished a cost-effective formula for successful training. Staff already experienced with the TV-80 trained colleagues, thus expediting the transition process.
Allbritton Communications owns and operates eight TV stations around the country — all ABC affiliates in markets from eight to 103.
Mark Olingy, director of engineering of Allbritton
Will Seymour, Sam Jackson, Dave Weaver, Tom Hormuth
Jim Peck, senior applications engineer, Wheatstone
Carl Van Dusen, design engineer, Professional Products
Ralph S. Blackman, AIA, project director
Rob Genter, RID, project coordinator
Song Chia, project designer
Bethany Jackson, interior design
Wheatstone Phase One prewire
ADC patch bays
ADC icon blocks