Live News Broadcast Comes to Telluride

Live News Broadcast Comes to Telluride

CNN correspondent seen on network live from Telluride TV’s Media Center

Major, breaking news has literally come to Telluride thanks to Telluride TV and its new media center.

Former CNN senior producer Sarah Holbrooke, now director of Pinhead Insitute helps Bobbaer get ready for broadcast.

Former CNN senior producer Sarah Holbrooke, now director of Pinhead Insitute helps Bob Baer get ready for broadcast from Telluride TV’s media center.

Local viewers who tuned into CNN on Sunday, Dec. 7 around 3:00 p.m. Mountain Time may have caught something on their screens they’d never seen before: a live television interview feeding directly to the world from inside TTV’s Media Center.

“The Media Center absolutely made this become a reality because we had the facility, staff and equipment needed to make it happen,” said TTV’s Executive Director Katie Karow.

Since that initial airing, CNN National Security Analyst Bob Baer has been broadcast numerous times on that network as if speaking from downtown Telluride. There, his Middle East expertise has informed the news giant’s viewers, giving context and nuance to major, breaking stories including: the U.S. Senate report on CIA torture during the George W. Bush administration; the failed Navy SEAL attempt to free photojournalist Luke Somers, a hostage held by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; and the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Uruguay for resettlement as refugees.

In keeping with the station’s educational mission, students from the Telluride High School broadcast journalism class were invited to watch the live production in the studio.

“This is unbelievably exciting for our community,” said Karow. “The iconic Telluride backdrop, Main Street with Ajax in the background, is being aired worldwide multiple times daily on CNN.”

The live interviews were made possible thanks to the community television station’s new, improved media center located at the Telluride High School. Funded through a capital campaign, it opened in May 2014.

The facility now includes a green screen cyclorama wall onto which a virtual set can be superimposed, a TriCaster that allows for multi-camera shoots and the creation of virtual backgrounds like the one Baer appeared against, and its recently acquired LTN Global Communications video transport service. Together, the three components now mean TTV can provide professional, broadcast quality, live video feeds to any number of major television stations.

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TTV’s decision to purchase the equipment needed to join the vast network of stations served by LTN including: CNN, ABC News, NBC News and Fox, was the result of an initial inquiry from Baer.

As a frequent contributor to CNN, Baer, a former CIA operative and author whose book “See No Evil” became the basis for the film “Syriana,” approached Karow to learn if the station could provide him with a direct video feed to CNN. That ability would enable Baer to spend more time in the region, where he has a home, while still fulfilling his numerous media commitments. After learning that TTV would earn a studio booking fee with each of Baer’s appearances, the board of directors authorized Karow to purchase the system.

It is the only one of its kind in the Telluride region.

“The board and I felt this was a great investment based on the number of high profile, intellectual people that live in and visit Telluride,” said Karow.  “It’s convenient. It means that anyone who needs this type of service can enjoy all that Telluride has to offer, book the studio for an hour to be broadcast anywhere they need to be, and return to what they love about this town.”

After an initial test of the Media Center’s previous direct feed capabilites proved too slow for CNN’s needs, TTV chose to upgrade to the new system.

“CNN suggested LTN because it provides a high quality feed with no delay,” Karow explained. “It takes the place of satellite trucks getting news from remote locations.”

Telluride TV provides a voice for the community through media arts education, community-based content and access to broadcasting.

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