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Blue Dogs

KTRK-TV Ch. 13 and other ABC stations beginning central master control hub

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Blue Dogs    43

Following KPRC-TV and other NBC stations' lead, sources at KTRK Ch 13 said the station's master control department is going by the way of outsourced automation.

The staff announcement yesterday noted KTRK and other Disney ABC Television Group-owned stations (KABC, WLS, WABC, WPVI, etc.,) will be undergoing outsourcing master control operations to Encompass Digital Media, Inc., in Atlanta, GA.

http://mikemcguff.blogspot.com/2014/07/ktrk-and-abc-stations-to-start-central.html?m=1

Reaction from anyone on this development?

Edited by Blue Dogs

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Sparrow    279

What exactly does the master control operations department do? The Encompass website gives a bit of an overview, but I don't understand how this will save costs for an existing station. Seems as though the same amount of work would need to be performed whether in house or at some centralized hub--so no labor savings. How is it better for a station to have folks hundreds of miles away doing work folks at a desk feet away can do? Are there operational "hardware" cost savings? 

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mkultra25    555

What exactly does the master control operations department do? The Encompass website gives a bit of an overview, but I don't understand how this will save costs for an existing station. Seems as though the same amount of work would need to be performed whether in house or at some centralized hub--so no labor savings. How is it better for a station to have folks hundreds of miles away doing work folks at a desk feet away can do? Are there operational "hardware" cost savings? 

 

I've no idea if this is the case here, but outsourcing can be driven by a mandate from senior management to reduce employee headcount (usually for budgetary reasons).

 

When a manager's given a number and told that's how many employees he will have going forward, and it's a smaller number than what he currently has, generally his options are to shift more work to the remaining employees, bring in contractors, or outsource tasks (or some combination of all of these options).

 

If they're decommissioning hardware as a result of the outsourcing, there could be cost savings there, as maintenance and support contracts can be quite expensive. 

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Blue Dogs    43

Bigger question is whether we'll find out which of the employees being kicked to the curb will also include some reporters and a few anchors.

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technoevil    5

What exactly does the master control operations department do? The Encompass website gives a bit of an overview, but I don't understand how this will save costs for an existing station. Seems as though the same amount of work would need to be performed whether in house or at some centralized hub--so no labor savings. How is it better for a station to have folks hundreds of miles away doing work folks at a desk feet away can do? Are there operational "hardware" cost savings? 

 

 

Master Control is the department that controls what goes out on air.  Bascially Master Control is the last place a feed from satellite, their studio, servers, etc., passes through before it goes out to their transmitter.   A lot of stations already have this set up to be automated, but still have to have a master control op in the building in-case something goes wrong.  When MC is outsourced, one person can monitor and take control of many stations at once.  There is a facility in Dallas that does this for small market TV stations and their set-up look kinda like a mini NASA mission control.   

 

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