Now that is how you do a newsroom


Neil Hutchins# TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Neil Hutchins
Issue 97 - January 2015

"That's TV" is a brand new TV network for the UK that first launched in the South of England in the fourth quarter of 2014.

That's TV is designed to emulate the most popular local TV news format in the US and bring it to the UK in the form of live sports, phone-ins and entertainment.

Every That's TV affiliate provides its own local programmes for the area in which it operates, and the That's TV Network has already been awarded exclusive licences to operate local TV in Oxford, the Solent, Basingstoke, Reading, Guildford and Salisbury, which together comprise one of the most demographically desirable regions for local programming and associated advertising in the UK.

'That's Solent' was the first of those local That's TV stations to launch, in November 2014, to be followed closely by 'That's Oxford' in January 2015. That's Solent is based in studios at Highbury College, Portsmouth, and provides coverage for Southampton, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth with more than three hours of live news programming each weekday evening.

That's Solent went live on the evening of 26th November, and began their news output the following day, but our involvement began less than a week earlier with a tentative enquiry about prompting equipment. The issue was that the news team, led by News Editor Charlotte Briere-Edney, was faced with producing more than three hours of live news output each evening, but early attempts to achieve that without robust and reliable full-scale newsroom computer system (NRCS) functionality, providing a full range of multi-user newsroom production, administration and management tools, had proved frustrating. Although a standaloneprompting system initially seemed to be the answer, a more comprehensive, dynamic news automation system tied to the prompting is what actually provided a demonstrable, and highly visible impact on That's Solent's ability to deliver a high quality, professional news programme.

The beauty, for both parties, was that within 48 hours of that initial telephone call, we had installed our newsroom computer system - QNews, , including database hardware and easy-to-use, highly configurable client software that established a smooth workflow and enabled full rehearsals of That's Solent to begin immediately and effectively.

For the first time with only days before going live, all of the news team were able to fully collaborate. The same running order and program timing information was quickly and accurately available for the editor; script updates were available instantly on the teleprompter for the presenter to read; scripts and rundowns could be easily printed whenever needed; video clips could be selected for playback from the automation system; and graphics could be entered as part of the script production process.

QNews' unique multi-column script layout, which can be set to follow the prompt position as the presenter is reading from it, provided a huge benefit for the Technical Director, as he was able to see both the script and corresponding director's instructions in real-time during the live show, and the customisable layouts enabled Charlotte to define a screen appearance exactly suited to her team's workflow.

It was exciting to be involved with That's Solent's launch, and I'm delighted that we were able to provide a system that made the production process far easier than it would have been. We've invested a lot of time, effort and expertise in QNews over the years and it's hugely satisfying to see it realised as a mature product. We couldn't have done it without customer input, which we take very seriously indeed. Our customers include national broadcasters, regional TV stations and universities and colleges, and our software is now in use at hundreds of sites by thousands of users over the last fifteen years, and we continue to rely on their input to help shape how the products develop. The input provided by That's Solent is no exception. They contributed greatly to the success of the project, in which of course they had a vested and quite immediate interest! We configured their software to work in exactly the way they needed it to work and got them up and running within 48 hours of the initial conversation.

Now "That's QNews".

Tags: iss097 | newsroom | tv network | local tv | thats tv | qnews | work room | Neil Hutchins#
Contributing Author Neil Hutchins#

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • QNews Newsroom system from AQ Broadcast at IBC 2017

    QNews Newsroom system from AQ Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • BroadStream ARMADA at IBC 2014

    BroadStream ARMADA at IBC 2014

  • BroadStream OASYS at IBC 2014

    BroadStream OASYS at IBC 2014

  • BroadStream CURRENT at IBC 2014

    BroadStream CURRENT at IBC 2014

  • BroadStream HARBOR at IBC 2014

    BroadStream HARBOR at IBC 2014

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at IBC 2013

    Dalet at IBC 2013

  • Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

    Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

    Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

  • PlayBox Technology at BVE 2013

    PlayBox Technology at BVE 2013

  • Local TV debate at BVE North 2012

    Local TV debate at BVE North 2012


Related Shows
  • Local TV debate at BVE North 2012

    Local TV debate at BVE North 2012


Articles
REVIEW Canon UJ111x8_3B UHD Lens
Andy McKenzie Shooting in ultra high definition and high dynamic range has become the preferred option for all television productions with a potentially long commercial life. The hir-ing charge and indeed the outright purchase cost of cameras of this standard are not significantly greater than those of high definition standard dynamic range models. With half the world's news reporters now able to capture UHD video on their mobile phones, why give the production crews anything less?
Tags: iss139 | canon review | uj111x8 review | lens | zoom | digisuper | uj90x9b | hdtv | ccu | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
The Future of Broadcast Connectivity
Jamie Adkin The use of KVM equipment has been essential to meet the evolving needs of the broadcast industry for many years. Over that time, many in the industry have recognised the importance of using IP-enabled KVM to break down technological barriers and enable real-time access to visuals wherever and whenever they’re needed. These components are vital parts in live production environments in particular.
Tags: iss139 | adder | kvm | ip kvm | Jamie Adkin
Contributing Author Jamie Adkin Click to read or download PDF
Undercover Remote Production
David Bradley

It’s only taken 20 years and it seems that Remote Production is finally coming of age, but it now requires far more cameras than anyone envisaged back in the last century!

The move to remote production is one of the unstoppable trends of 2019 and moving into 2020. Our CamBall cameras pioneered remote working as early as 2003 with sport and wildlife programming using remote production for many years with incredible results.

Tags: iss139 | ptz | br remote | 5g | remote camera | atlantic productions | camball | camball4 | David Bradley
Contributing Author David Bradley Click to read or download PDF
To Remotely Go - TVFutures
Michael Parsons One of my biggest concerns as an academic responsible for the education of hundreds of students is the ‘appropriateness’ of much of the technology we purchase and implement within the curriculum. The last few years have seen tremendous change in all sorts of technologies, and the broadcast industry is just one sector that has seen some significant leaps in innovation.
Tags: iss139 | university | portsmouth | graduation | guildhall | newtek | streaming | pxw-fs7 | ndi | ip | ndihx ptz camera | Michael Parsons
Contributing Author Michael Parsons Click to read or download PDF
Post Production - Keeping Track
Alex Macleod One of the most important things to consider when beginning a new edit, is keeping track of where all your various media assets are - not only their location on whichever storage drive you chose to work from, but also where you file them away in your project once imported.
Tags: iss139 | premiere pro | editing | shotputpro | post haste | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF