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CNN Affils Get New Web Tools

Video news service CNN Newsource is making it easier for affiliates to use its web site, thanks to several improvements.

One new feature is a virtual “Budd Box”— an audio alert system—that will allow newsroom staff to hear an incoming CNN affiliate alert even if they’re not directly in front of a Newsource monitor. In the past, Budd Boxes were standalone devices connected to the affiliate's Newsource setup--often sitting next to an assignment editor. The virtual version enables affiliate staff to listen to alerts via Windows Media Player on personal computers throughout the newsroom.

“With so much content available to affiliates, we wanted to make it easier for them to know when that great piece of video was coming across,” said Paul Crum, executive director, CNN News Operations and Affiliate Services.

Other features include breaking news alerts, a planning calendar (detailing current and upcoming Newsource content) and a frame-grab gallery of images captured from Newsource’s five digital channels. CNN worked with partner stations to redesign the Web site.

CNN Newsource has about 800 affiliates, including TV stations and regional cable news channels in North America.