Newspaper Video: Avid, Gannett and the Cincinnati Enquirer

 Cincinnati.Com video

I’m not one to regurgitate press releases, but squirreled away on the Avid website (they make big league edit software) web site was a mention for a Gannett newspaper The Cincinnati Enquirer.

There is some corporate guff as you would expect. But some interesting insight as well.

“Video producers at The Enquirer come from all walks of journalistic life – reporters, photographers, and editors. As the traditional newspaper business evolves to include more interactive and video content, these individual contributors have to assume new responsibilities – and they need a reliable and agile video production solution to keep up with a fast-paced and constantly changing news environment,” said The Enquirer’s Multimedia & Presentation Editor, Kenneth Amos. “The Enquirer turned to Avid because of its understanding of the news production process and ability to adapt its broadcast technologies to a traditional print-based newsroom. Avid’s deep experience implementing digital video production workflows made it a no-brainer to work with them on this transformation of our business – and it’s already paid off.”

This work flow obviously doesn’t include cleaning the lens. But I nitpick

The release suggests that the heavily broadcast influenced workflow of Avid is going to produce big things. The press release promises a doubling of their out put to over 150 videos a week this year.

Given the seeming ubiquity of Final Cut Pro (be still Vegas users, the figures back that up) in the US newspaper video world it will be interesting to see how Avid works out. Less for the paper and more for Avid as they make a move in to publishing that is long overdue.

6 Replies to “Newspaper Video: Avid, Gannett and the Cincinnati Enquirer”

  1. A Gannett insider (Anne Saul) explained their commitment to Avid to me last summer. Gannett owns some number of TV stations as well as its roughly 90 newspapers. The TV stations all (almost all?) use Avid. So there is a corporate buying advantage for them (deep discounts) that other corporations might not receive.

    The other part of their Avid strategy is that if someone from any Gannett property is shooting video on the road, they can pop in at any other Gannett newsroom and use the Avid gear. I don’t know how often that might happen, but the bottom line is that it’s efficient all around to standardize within the company. And they chose Avid because their TV people already had it.

  2. Makes good sense to me.

    I think the avid system has one thing against it in terms of a newspaper newsroom in the US – it’s a PC app. (You can get it for Mac but the lower end is better served on PC) so I don’t believe it’s a bad move.

    It may be that the experience that Avid brings to the table with network storage and distribution – something a few newspapers are realising is going to be an issue as they invest in HD gear – may pay off for Gannett in the medium to long term.

    That said Avid have yet to make any real moves in crossing over in to the none-broadcast/film field at a pro-level.

  3. Just to clarify … the goal at The Enquirer is to position ourselves to produce 150 videos per month (as stated in the lede paragraph of the release).

    Thanks for letting me put this into perspective!

    Link to press release

    TEWKSBURY, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced that The Cincinnati Enquirer – a Gannett Company-owned newspaper with print, online and rich-media content – is aiming to double its video content production to more than 150 video segments per month with an Avid® digital video production environment. In an effort to expand the channels through which its readers consume news and to stay competitive in the changing world of content distribution, The Enquirer is working with Avid to create a streamlined and more collaborative process for publishing video content on the Web. The newspaper currently has a team of 40 video producers and online editors trained to generate news stories with video elements – up from eight this time last year.

  4. Just to clarify, Avid’s work on both Mac and PC systems and the workflow between them is seamless. For instance if you are working on a Media Composer or Xpress Pro on a Mac, you can easily take that same media and work with it on a PC. The Newscutter software is PC only, but in the case of a newsaper, you’d probably be better off using Xpress Pro or Media Composer software.

  5. Thanks for that Chris.

    I think it’s less the cross platform stuff – as a user of avid across express, newscutter and composer – I have had no problems. Im in the process of bringing their active content manager online as well. All very god apps.

    The issue i was pointing out is Avid’s emphasis on a broadcast workflow rather than a more open workflow from the likes of FCP or vegas. The fact that FCP is native quicktime for example means everything is quickly transferable and import is pretty seamless. I’m not saying it isn’t on the Avid but working in a closed omfi format does add to web delivery times.

    Mindy and Kenneth make good points about the broadcast element of Gannet’s operation.

    But having spent a reasonable amount of time this year working on Avid and the other applications they offer it’s clear that they are designed to be singular systems. Their storage solution talking to their editing system talking to their asset management system. They have a way to go to make the individual products work outside the ‘broadcast’ paradigm

    Thats not a criticism of the product. It’s my view on a strategy to pursue.

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