WaPo Digital Arm Getting Into Broadcast Business

The Washington Post is getting back into the broadcast business. 

No, it is not buying stations now that the FCC has repealed the newspaper-broadcast crossownership rule, at least not at the moment. 

The broadcaster involved is Raycom Media and the news is that the Post's Arc Publishing digital arm has licensed technology to Raycom, which has relaunched its TV and radio station websites using the Amazon-based platform (The Post is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos).

It is Arc's first broadcast client—its newspaper clients include the Los Angeles Times, Canada’s Globe and Mail, and the New Zealand Herald—and the company is looking to grow that business, said a Post spokesperson.

Raycom has 44 stations in 20 states, so it is a solid base for the new broadcast "arc" of the Post's digital platform.

“The Arc platform enables fast and seamless integration not only for news publishers but also large digital brands on any site worldwide, and we’re excited to extend this to a major national broadcaster like Raycom Media,” said Washington Post CTO Scot Gillespie of the new client. “Arc’s live and on-demand video capabilities, combined with its superior multi-site support, gives Raycom Media a powerful platform with which to achieve their digital publishing goals.”

Arc also launched iOS and Android apps for 39 of those Raycom station sites.

Joe Fiveash, executive VP, digital media and strategy, for Raycom, said that Arc allows it to better "optimize" the workflows of its broadcast and digital platforms to serve an audience engaging with its content on the web, including via mobile apps.

“Working with the Arc team, we were able to bring industry-leading digital publishing solutions to each of our local broadcast markets in record time,” he said.

The Post says one big plus with the Arc system is that stations can clip, crop and publish live video streams on the fly and distribute them to the web, social and mobile, including breaking news video across those platforms during their broadcasts.

The Arc platform is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.