Case Study: News 12 maximizes online news reach with Grass Valley

By Contributed

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The internet is rapidly becoming the primary place for consumers to access news, as shown by the recent Reuters’s Digital News Report which found online news to be the most frequently used source across a significant portion of the 40 countries surveyed. In the United States, 72% of respondents cited online (including social media) as their primary source of news in 2020, compared to 59% for TV. With a growing number of online news platforms, today’s news organizations face an ongoing challenge to reach increasingly fragmented audiences. To continually meet consumer demand and keep up with the requirements of 24-hour news production, broadcasters and news studios need innovative technologies and intuitive workflows that enable seamless content distribution to the right platform without interruption or delay to audiences. 

The opportunity: Meeting consumer demand for content anywhere without purchasing a traditional large asset management system 

News 12 has provided 24-hour access to local breaking news, traffic, weather, sports, and more in the New York tri-state area for over 30 years. The network distributes news coverage to viewers across seven local news channels, provides five special program and traffic and weather channels and several digital platforms, including an interactive network of websites and mobile applications. 

Due to the demands of 24-hour news studios, News 12 was looking for a solution that enables them to leverage the full capability of its traditional linear output in a VOD world without breaking the bank or hiring extra staff.

“Our aim was to identify the best solution that would enable segments of a linear newscast to be published to our digital platforms, such as our website and OTT (over-the-top) apps. In the past, the only way to do it would be to record the entire newscast, and then edit it down into the individual segments, which is time-consuming and detracts from opportunities where our team could focus on more creative tasks,” said Jeremy Kauffman, director of operations for News 12.

The solution: Delivering news anywhere, any time to any device 

The production demands for always on-air news are already high and adding digital news platforms to the mix means only the best innovations will sufficiently meet these requirements. Grass Valley’s all-in-one media production platform GV Stratus One Express now quickly provides the functionality needed for digital content. GV Stratus One offers production workflows simplicity while saving time, delivering media faster, and saving space. The 2 RU media production solution manages all ingest, playout, recording, transcoding, storage, streaming to web clients, and is easily deployable. Kauffman added, “The biggest attraction to Grass Valley’s solution was a focus on saving us time by improving our digital team’s workflows and access to new content.”

GV Stratus One Express enables News 12 to create digital content assets for its online platforms more time- and cost-effectively. The solution, which is typically deployed for publishing on social media, was built into News 12’s workflows, which also features Grass Valley’s Ignite Automated Production System, to create a segment for every news story automatically. This means, thanks to GV Stratus One Express, the News 12 digital content team could easily find each news segment within a newscast and create individual assets then instantly upload them to their cloud provider.

Kauffman commented: “Audience fragmentation is at an all-time high. So, offering our audiences consistent storytelling across linear and digital channels is a top priority for us. When we approached Grass Valley with this challenge, the team created a workflow that leveraged our already deployed Ignite system and brought in GV Stratus One Express to enable the easy creation of online assets.” 

The outcome: Consistent storytelling for consumers across linear and digital 

By optimizing the efficiency of its existing workflows and adding GV Stratus One, News 12 increased the amount of content it could produce daily. Ultimately News 12 delivered more and more news stories to its audiences across five separate studios without requiring a single support engineer onsite, which was optimal in a COVID stricken world. The GV Stratus One server was plugged into power and connected to the internet which enabled Grass Valley remote access for custom commissioning and configuration. The solution was available in hours which allowed News 12 to train and be proficient in days, not weeks or months.

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Kauffman added: “When we decided to make production efficiencies, we knew we wanted to stay within the Grass Valley ecosystem. Their tight integration created a unique product that wasn’t available elsewhere. The installation and configuration support from Grass Valley meant our production teams were up and running with the new system in a matter of days. With GV Stratus, our digital producers have easy web browser-based access to the story they need to create an online video without spending time searching for each story within the newscast. This significantly reduced time the producers would have spent creating those assets by having the ‘in’ and ‘outs’ already marked in the proxy view of each clip in an all-in-one workflow. In short, the system is intuitive, simple and meets our needs perfectly.”

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