News Organizations Find ‘Pure Gold’ In Their Archives

Apr 27 2023

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Executives from The Weather Channel, Fox News, and Capitol Broadcasting have rolled up their sleeves and dived into their organizations’ deep and messy archives. They told a panel at last week’s Programming Everywhere event that doing so has yielded untold — and very monetizable — treasures. Pictured (l-r): Nora Zimmett, The Weather Channel; Sam Peterson, Bitcentral; Jon Accarrino, Capitol Broadcasting; and Ben Ramos, Fox Archive. (Alyssa Wesley photo)

LAS VEGAS — Content stuck on tape from 40 years ago, when digitized and properly tagged, can be “pure gold,” allowing broadcasters to create fresh pieces and sell rights to the video.

While preserving all that old video sounds like an overwhelming project, only by doing so can broadcasters learn what assets they have access to, industry experts said during the Mining the Archives for New Shows panel at TVNewsCheck’s Programming Everywhere event on April 16 at the NAB Show.

And while a lot of companies are opting to store their archives in the cloud as a primary location, despite the egress costs, CBC relies on two physical locations with cloud as the backup. CBC is soft-launching its archives soon, he said.

Sam Peterson, Bitcentral COO, said many of the industry’s archives are not very organized. “The state of metadata and how interconnected it is, and the process they used to get it there, runs the gamut,” he said. “Some are thinking for the long-term, but some do not have the foresight.”

It is important to work with the end in mind. “What do we want to end up with, and how do we get there are thing you have to work through pretty quickly to not make it worse,” he said.

Peterson cautioned that archives maintenance can be simple but is not complete once a project is over.

Know it will be iterative approach” because tools are rapidly evolving, he said. “The main thing is not to lose any more content. Let’s get it captured, at least.”

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