Gray Television had a vision when upgrading WOWT in Omaha, NE, to full local HD. Its goal was to redesign the TV station in terms of master control, graphics, news acquisition and news playout for a more effective workflow and improved quality. At WOWT, Gray wanted to effectively change the heart and center of what goes on in most television stations with the use of the very latest technology.
One of the main innovations was to redesign a main control room that puts one individual at the helm of WOWT's television broadcasts. Gray has restructured its operations facilities, combining master control and production control into one working environment. Through full automation, it has created a position called a technical media producer, performing the role of the traditional master control and news production team. It is Gray's goal to fully adapt this workflow with all its stations as it completes its local high-definition infrastructure.
In the main control room that Gray now calls the media control center (MCC), space availability and ergonomics were key considerations. In the construction of the desk console, Gray sought help from Ross Video. A console was drafted that consisted of two cockpits — one for the technical media producer (TMP) and one for the news producer. To encourage communication, the two positions are spaced only a few feet apart. On the TMP side, every piece of equipment is within arm's reach, and every screen can be viewed with an eye movement as opposed to a head or body turn. The TMP has access to the Harris ADC automation, Utah Scientific router, Ross OverDrive automated production control system, Ross Vision switcher, Yamaha DM1000 audio console, Cambotics camera control, teleprompter, ENPS and KVM box that has 17 accessible assets.
Another change in Gray's architectural design is based on communications in its newsroom. Gray wanted to make the newsroom "public." By removing cubicles and adding desktop editing, KVM setup and shared workstations, users are able to more effectively edit and perform different functions all at
The new workflow benefit for WOWT is the quality of the newscast productions. Having Cambotics robotics has enabled the TMP to program complex production moves. Even in breaking news, the operator can hit one short cut, and the cameras roll, the graphics package comes up, and the mics pop up. All of these production elements happen, allowing the producer to focus clearly on the content and story itself — and not on everything being set up properly.
Gray Television's project allowed WOWT to start from scratch. By re-imagining a control room, and creating a new job title and responsibilities, an opportunity was given for WOWT to rethink a TV control room from "behind the scenes."