Case Study: Tekskil provides unique ceiling mounted prompter for Fort Myers ABC

The new studio for Waterman Broadcasting’s ABC 7 in Fort Myers, Florida, mixes storytelling with automation.

WZVN launched its overhauled studio in late 2020 with a design from FX Design Group.

Inside the studio, Panasonic PTZ cameras are suspended from the ceiling grid and are on floor pedestals with Tekskil telepromoters

“You’ve got to ensure the talent is able to maintain viewer eye contact while being assisted with scripts, timers, tally lights and aux displays – intimate, confident communication is absolutely critical,” said Bob Hannon, senior production engineer at WZVN. “The Tekskil/Panasonic solution meets our needs. It’s the ideal setup all the way around.”

Tekskil notes their prompting system works “hand in glove” with Panasonic’s cameras, allowing easy control. 


“Capital cost of the solution was much less than other offerings and annual support fees a fraction of the 15-20% of the purchase price typically charged,” notes Tekskil. 

To adapt to the unusual ceiling mounting of some cameras, Tekskil built an automated platform and customized firmware in less than a month to ensure prompter control.

 “There can’t be a single point of failure. The best technology in the world isn’t worth a cent if the operators can’t use it. That’s what I like best about Tekskil/Panasonic system; if the control computer goes down, I can still drive the Panasonic cameras, I have memory control on the pedestals, and I can get them where I need them and still do a newscast,” said Hannon.

WZVN is co-located with Waterman’s WBBH, the market’s NBC affiliate, with each retaining a separate control room and studio.