KTBS-TV and KPXJ-TV, the locally-owned, ABC/CW affiliate duopoly in Shreveport, LA, airs five-and-a-half hours of weekday news, four hours per day on the weekend, two hours daily for its CW affiliate, and a news website constantly fed with updated stories as they happen. Growing demand for this amount of content across multiple channels prompted KTBS to re-engineer its newsroom and become the first full station in its market to go all HD. The move began five years ago when the station upgraded its master control facilities with Avid FastBreak automation to ingest and play out HD syndicated shows and commercials.
Following its DTV transition in June 2009, the station decided to turn its newsroom and production department into full HD and tapeless environments. During this time, though, the economic climate took a downturn, forcing KTBS to take a harder look at how HD news production technology could also help it do more with less while still improving the quality and quantity of its news to feed all of its channels. Working with Avid and technology consultant Audience Research & Development, the station created a plan based on transforming the traditional reporter, photographer and editor team into a single multimedia journalist (MMJ) that could shoot, write, edit and send a story back to the station, where it could be moved seamlessly across departments. The key selection mandate was for systems that could work well together. KTBS chose Avid as the foundation for its new tapeless, HD workflow based on an array of technology, including: ISIS 7000 shared storage, Interplay production asset management system, iNEWS newsroom computer system, Media Composer and NewsCutter editing systems, AirSpeed Multi Stream ingest and playout server, DS finishing software, and FastBreak automation. The facility also includes equipment from Sony, Grass Valley, Vinten and Evertz.
The move to the MMJ model has enabled KTBS to put three times the number of reporters on the street to cover news and allowed each of them to bring more information to viewers faster. MMJs use Media Composer software loaded on Dell laptops for editing. Craft editors use DS, while the station’s promotions department uses Media Composer. Content contributed from the field can be made available immediately to news producers, journalists responsible for the station’s Web channels and the promotions department through Interplay. This saves considerable amounts of time while enabling more content to be generated from each story. With a new shared storage system, MMJs now shoot, write and edit finished pieces, giving producers a number of stories from which to choose when deciding what to put on-air.
Interplay archiving enables KTBS to search and find media quicker and easier. This increased visibility and access to information, along with the ability to attach associated metadata, helps speed up the process of finding, accessing and using footage for a variety of purposes. This new workflow allows the station to do more with less, transforming how it creates news and the quality of programming it can provide. Viewers get better, more comprehensive news coverage while KTBS increases ratings and better serves the community.
New studio technology – HD
Submitted by Avid
Audience Research & Development: Jerry Gumbert, president
Avid: Chad Rounsavall, key enterprise account exec.; Steve Janey, solutions architect; Robert Murphy, proj. mgr.; Mike Zweig, professional services consultant
KTBS-TV: George Sirven, station mgr.; Dale Cassidy, chief eng.; Randy Bain, news dir.
Technology at work
Avid: AirSpeed Multi Stream server, DS finishing, FastBreak automation, iNEWS newsroom computer system, ISIS 7000 storage, Interplay production and asset management, Media Composer editing, NewsCutter editing
Evertz: Audio embedders, upconverters, downconverters, trilevel sync generators, closed-caption encoder box
Grass Valley: Fusion, Ignite
Sony: PMW-350K camcorders and studio cameras, PWM-EX3 camcorders
Vinten: Robotic pedestals