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Emmis Employs a Super-Cop

While many station groups look to standardize traffic systems, some are
planning to centralize them. The Emmis Communications Centralcasting facility,
located in Orlando, Fla., handles master control for five stations: WKCF
Orlando; WFTX Ft. Myers, Fla.; WVUE New Orleans; WALA Mobile, Ala.; and WBPG
Gulf Shores, Ala. Each station has its own Harris/Encoda traffic system tied
into a Florical automation system located at the hub. Together, the systems
handle playout of all SD and HD programming.

Joe Addalia, Emmis Centralcasting director of operations, says a program
from Harris/Encoda helps the traffic and automation systems speak the same
language. The station group works with content packaged as files, moving it
between the Centralcasting hub and the stations across a wide area network
(WAN). “Purge lists, dub lists, logs, as-run logs and user reports are what
keep the processes flowing,” says Addalia.

The facility highlights the delicate dance between automation and
traffic. In addition to on-air operations, the Florical system also handles
programming from other sources, including networks. It deals with as much as
18-21 hours of syndicated programming on weekdays and nearly 80 daily satellite

The Harris/Encoda system does require some manual intervention.

Addalia's bottom line: First figure out the workflow. Then buy the
technology that can do it. “That's especially important with traffic,” he
says, “because otherwise the workflow is based on the system's