Debuting in February 2020 during Black History Month, Black News Channel (BNC) operates out of its brand new headquarters in Tallahassee, FL. Almost immediately after bringing its new purpose-built facility online, the network had to shift to a remote production workflow as COVID restrictions sent people home.
The flexible, IP-based comms system from Clear-Com, which had been installed in the facility by BeckTV, was able to flex to meet the comms challenges of today and tomorrow.
Watch the video below to learn more about the installation.
BNC is the nation’s only provider of 24/7 cable news programming created “by people of color for people of color.” One of the goals of the network is to recruit and train aspiring African American journalists and technicians, providing them with a platform and facility where they can learn and grow. Part of this includes incorporating the market’s latest technology that new employees may not have access to otherwise.
“I was lucky enough to have used Clear-Com throughout my career, but that is not the case for everyone," said Kenneth Thomas, director of OTT/IT operations for BNC. "The comms system was a priority from the facility’s inception, and I knew it would include Clear-Com.”(opens in new tab)
BNC equipped its facility with Clear-Com’s Eclipse HX Digital Matrix with V-Series intercom panels throughout. Dante and MADI interface cards offered a variety of I/O to other audio, video, and routing equipment, and E-IPA IP interface cards enabled AES-67 for FreeSpeak II wireless. The E-IPA cards allow for flexibility by providing IVC IP connections for the Agent-IC Mobile Intercom App and LQ Series Interfaces hosting SIP telephony and remote site connection capabilities.
In the Fall of 2019 and Winter of 2020, BNC staff spent time with Clear-Com’s applications engineer Jonathan Sorensen to familiarize themselves with the system and to finalize custom integrations for their workflows. When it became time to rethink aspects of the system to accommodate remote workflows, BNC relied heavily on their prior training and close relationship with Clear-Com to make the changes.
“The flexibility of the IP-based system and the amazing support from Jonathan and the team at Clear-Com allowed us to seamlessly transition to remote production without a hiccup,” added BNC’s director of network operations, Jefferson Walker. “The system is simple, it’s reliable, and the support from Clear-Com is outstanding.”