Tag Archives: Grass Valley Ignite

How To Use Kicka– Automation, Example 98, WABC-TV (from 2012!)

The WABC-TV people are really intune to their audience. the Eyewitness News theme package – with this update going as far back as 22 years ago, still sounds great. it was one of Frank Gari’s last major fingerprint in a theme package. Very Northeast. Very New York. Anything that has pop, rock or teeny bopper sounds would never fly. Leave it to the California Disney cluster to play out.

Around 2012, WABC-TV was next station in the Disney/ABC group to go to automation, at the time using Grass Valley’s Ignite as WPVI in Philly had began a workflow in 2008/09 when they built their new facility at the time. This means the “control room” is really controlled by a Windows PC, and its mostly dependent on scripting out the litteral aspects of news production and the timing. I landed across a video earlier today indicating that this workflow was completely scrapped just going to another vendor, Ross.

How Jimmy Kimmel Live  would appear on TVs across the NY Tristate area, was the last block to Eyewitness News at exactly 11:34:20*, the Vizrt CG, would display the NYS Lottery numbers, for roughly 20 seconds, call up Camera 2 (we’ll call it that for the center camera) for a few seconds, open up Bill and Sade’s mic, then automatically switch to the city cam zooming out of WABC-TV’s streetside studio, fade to black, then have the off site Master Control handoff to the network.

*because the closing cut to the theme runs at minute-four, and if you subtract the end to where it starts… you can see how you can script this very well.

I suspect this was a Timed Macro Event or TME that is cued into the then Ignite system they had. The Technical Director would ensure they would press the butt at 11:34:20 so it could play out properly so it could transition to Jimmy Kimmel seamlessly.

This close despite having a sample cut on my iOS devices, and sure the anchors talk near the end… the idea of running 40 seconds of theme music every night and the close has a static sequence that doesn’t fail, and this YouTube was from 2012, and seeing the very same sequence of TMEs in 2017 when I stayed in Manhattan that fall, is pretty damn good.

If stations could allow some number of braintrust, maybe automation wouldn’t look so bad… yes I am talking to you WCVB-TV off 128! 😀