Blue Ridge Communications News 13 is owned by Pencor Services, Inc. A Pennsylvanian news channel based out of Leighton.
BRCTV13’ legacy EZ Newsroom system was over 10 years old and fell short of the business functionality required of a modern-day newsroom system.
In May of 2019, BRCTV decided to replace EZ News and implement an Octopus Newsroom Computer system which had an immediate impact on efficiency and productivity.
“I appreciate the ability to simultaneously work on my script while in the editing bay. That’s a perk!” – Nick Volturo, Journalist
“I like that we are able to update rundowns/stories while the show is on air without having to exit out of the teleprompter. I also like that they have a mobile app that will allow us to work on our phones out in the field!” – Alyssa Kratz, Journalist/Producer
“I would say the feature I like most is how consolidated everything is and uniform. The people at Octopus did a really good job at accomplishing that, and I feel it will make our workflow more streamlined.” – Aren Woods, Technical Director
From a technical perspective, it was imperative that the new system would integrate into the existing infrastructure, but also future proof against technology change by being able to freely add new innovative third parties over time. In a world of interoperability and open standards, this meant it had to be MOS compliant. Media Object Server (MOS) is an XML based communication protocol that allows newsroom computer systems to interoperate with third-party systems such as teleprompters, graphics systems, playout systems, playout automation systems, and MAMs.
Frank Stanek, Directory of Technology explains “We had significant investments with existing platforms that included a ChyronHego graphics system, Autoscript teleprompters and Nexio playout servers. We also had an archival database going back 11 years that we need to ensure is still available to our new room teams. We needed to do a MOS upgrade on some of our systems, but this ensured we could keep our current eco-system without any painful migrations or middleware.”
Kim Bell, the General manager at BRCTV13 adds “We needed the ability for our journalists to work out on location but still have the ability to seamlessly collaborate with our newsroom systems back at headquarters. So, as well as having 30 desktop clients for our news team, we also had 10 Octopus Mobile journalist licenses.”
One significant advantage of Octopus was the fact it could work across both the MAC and Windows PC environment transparently.
Kim Bell concludes “We are delighted with the Octopus system and it allows us to be more efficient than ever before and has really bought us into the 21st century with all the different mechanisms of how news is delivered in the modern era. We are also looking forward to the new iReporter application, which basically allows us to build a community of mobile journalists that is actually based on our viewers. This could be very disruptive for BRCTV13 by being able to deliver much faster on breaking stories.”
Octopus worked with a local System Integrator Lerro Corporation to deliver the system. Lerro has extensive experience in a wide variety of video workflows.