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Newport Gives VCI New Business

Station group Newport Television has signed a deal with traffic and automation software supplier VCI Solutions to deploy VCI’s Orion Business System software across eight of its stations.

Forty-eight of the former Clear Channel Television stations, which are now owned by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners under the Newport umbrella, were already using the Orion software as part of a centralized traffic system. The new deal extends the Orion software, billed by VCI as a comprehensive solution for sales, traffic and accounting applications, across the entire group.

The biggest benefit of the new Orion deal is that Newport will now have standardized reporting capabilities for sales data analysis across all of its 56 stations (counting digital affiliates) in 24 markets, says VCI president and CEO Sarah Foss, as well as closer integration with the online ad inventory managed by Newport’s Internet division, Inergize Digital.

Newport did a competitive review of traffic vendors before giving VCI the additional business, adds Foss, despite VCI’s well-established position across the station group.

“They actually did look at other systems but standardized on VCI Orion, given the corporate roll-up reporting as well as the Web work we can do for them,” she says.

Installations of the new VCI software began in November and three stations in the Mobile, Ala./Pensacola, Fla. market went live on December 1. The remaining Newport stations will be live with Orion by the end of January.

“With more channels to manage, we needed to maximize our resources to efficiently work with our Internet division and yield management pricing system,” said Craig Millar, Newport’s senior vice president of operations, in a statement. “VCI’s intuitive yet robust platform stood out as the best option to expand to all of our systems with minimal disruption to our current business. They’ve worked closely with us; we’re looking forward to realizing full benefits with all 56 stations.”