Tapeless in Savannah

While TV news hasn’t had “Film at 11” for decades, many stations still “go to the videotape.” But the days of using that phrase are numbered, too. In Savannah, Ga., [market #97], the WTOC-TV newsroom went tapeless this summer. Reporter Charles Gray wrote in the station’s newsletter that the advantages are obvious: speed and sharing. Their Panasonic cameras use memory cards, so video doesn’t have to be digitized. Thirty minutes of video can be uploaded in 10 minutes to a server that anyone in the newsroom can access.  Stories are saved as MPEG-2 files.

We air six hours of live, local programming each weekday, and it all features a lot of recorded material. All those stories are kept on our high-speed computer network, where the producers who put our shows together can access them from their desks. The system allows them to preview the video, read the scripts, and make decisions about when they want to air which stories.

The finished product plays from the server to the transmitter with the click of a mouse.  So what’s the new catchphrase going to be?  “Let’s click the mouse” just doesn’t measure up, does it?

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