NewsTECHForum: The Complete Videos
TVNewsCheck’s annual NewsTECHForum last week addressed the exceptional circumstances bearing down on TV newsrooms and how the industry’s leaders are preparing best to meet them in 2024. Across seven panels, dozens of news and technology executives framed up the key problems they’re facing and the shifts they’re making to sustain their operations and their journalists.
Here are the videos:
Adapting to a Climate of Continuous Crisis, the conference’s titular, opening panel, featured Barb Maushard, SVP of news, Hearst Television; Ellen Crooke, SVP of news, Tegna; Nora Zimmett, president, news and original series, The Weather Group; Sam Singal, group vice president of editorial and content, Spectrum Networks; and Joe DiGiovanni, head of North American Sales, The Weather Company. They discussed how they’re dealing with the recruitment and retention crisis, climate change coverage, navigating a growing trust crisis with viewers and how they’re readying to deal with generative AI.
Democracy, Technology, TV Journalism and the 2024 Election, the keynote panel, featured E.W. Scripps CEO and President Adam Symson and Connell McShane, an anchor at NewsNation. They discussed how their respective networks are looking to avoid the pitfalls faced by their major cable competition to chart a middle course and how to build a more durable model for news that, in turn, shores up an imperiled democracy.
Reassessing the Streaming News Content Strategy featured Sahand Sepehrnia, SVP, streaming, CBS News & Stations; Mike Braun, SVP, digital media, Gray Television; Jeff Zellmer, SVP digital operations, Fox Television Stations; Greg Morrow, GM of ViewNexa, Bitcentral; and Rick Young, SVP, head of global products, LTN. They shared that the volume and immediacy of viewer data on their streaming and FAST channels is allowing them to make programming decisions and iterations on the fly and the live content still winds with audiences over everything else.
Harvesting the Archive for New Content and Opportunities featured Ben Ramos, VP, Fox Archive, field and emerging tech, Fox News; Mike Palmer, AVP, advanced technology/media management, Sinclair Broadcast Group; Devon Armijo, director of digital news integration, Hearst Television; and Philippe Petitpont, CEO, Newsbridge. The panel looked at how AI is impacting the content retrieval and rights management elements of archives, and the steep challenges news organizations still face in getting a handle on what’s in their vaults.
Building the Architecture of More Collaborative Content Creation featured Lee Zurik, VP of investigations, Gray Television; Kate O’Brian, president, Scripps News, The E.W. Scripps Co.; Meredith McGinn, EVP, diginets & original production, NBCUniversal Local; Kengo Tsutsumi, partnerships editor, ProPublica; and Stephane Guez, co-founder & principal, Dalet. Panelists discussed the collaborative structures they’ve built both within their groups and with partner organizations, the technology that’s helping to realize the complex projects they’re undertaking and how such collaborative ways of working will be essential to newsgroup’s survival in a rapidly changing age for journalism.
Agility in News Production featured Ernie Ensign, AVP, news technology and operations, Sinclair; Steve Fastook, SVP of technical and commercial operations, CNBC; Clint Moore, director of broadcast operations, Gray Television; and Erik Smith, VP of news operations and technology, Fox Television Stations. The group looked at how broadcasters are striving for more efficiency in all aspects of news production including studio presentation, newsroom workflows and field operations. Flexibility and speed, they stressed, are key drivers for any implementation of new technology.
Chasing AI: Threatening or Enhancing the News? featured Laura Ellis, head of technology forecasting, BBC; Aimee Rinehart, senior product manager, AI strategy, the Associated Press; Santiago Lyon, head of advocacy & education, Content Authenticity Initiative, Adobe; Claire Leibowicz, head of AI and media integrity, Partnership on AI; and Ray Thompson, senior director, partners and alliances, Avid. The group laid out the most pressing issues around generative AI that news organizations will need to triage, including its weaponization for disinformation, how it will complicate already thorny trust issues and the ethical considerations that come with its adoption and labeling of its usage for viewers.
Fireside Chat Sponsored Sessions
AI and the Future of Broadcast Workflows
There’s lots of talk about AI in media, but what is likely to be the actual impact on TV production workflows? Ray Thompson, senior director partners and alliances, Avid Technology, talks about how AI is increasing workflow efficiency and will soon expedite content delivery.
News: The Last Frontier for AR and Virtual Sets
Widely used in sports programming, augmented reality and virtual sets are making their way into news programming, thanks to photo realism and other technologies that have ramped up quality. David Rodriguez Moldes, director of product at Brainstorm, talks about how AR and virtual sets are affecting news storytelling and expanding companies’ ability to go beyond the news into magazines and other formats.