Case Studies - Falcon Editorial
Variety is a business to business publication for the entertainment industry. Having started reporting on Hollywood and Broadway in 1905 we have adopted newspaper technology advances over the years to stay competitive and viable.
In modern times, Variety has been willing to step into emerging technologies to make four-color preparation more affordable, to reduce reliance on a backshop or to speed page-to-press times.
As early as 1990 Variety was 100% electronically paginated (except four-color art had to be stripped in). With the switch to Advanced Publishing Technologies’ ACT Editorial system in 1996 we became free of all manual production and totally paginated in the newsroom.
The internet, websites and all things on the worldwide web demanded better content management tools. In 2009 Variety responded by replacing ACT Editorial with APT’s latest publishing system, Falcon. This new system promised better workflow, advanced pagination features, and, most importantly, an automated path from print to web.
To be competive with the sudden explosion of internet sites posting entertainment business content Variety would rely on Falcon’s web routing features to quickly move content to its website, Variety.com. And, it worked. An editor could now post a story from Falcon to the website in just a few mouse clicks.
But, what if it’s a reporter in the field that needs to post breaking news to the website?
Smartphones, laptops and tablets would give us the advantage we desired for posting breaking news to our website from almost anywhere in the world.
We could use email from these devices but that was not fast enough given the work required to upload, download and route content to the web. In our minds, content had to originate on the device and with a click on the SEND button the breaking news was posted to the website’s lead topic page with no handling. We have made that happen.
A key component of this strategy is the ability of our Falcon system to import content from “hot folders” on our server. Place a Word, text or InCopy file in that folder and it is quickly added to a queue based on the import process configuration. We have several of these folders for different content types (news, reviews, breaking). All we needed to do was get the content from the device to one of these folders. So, we developed an easy-to-use web application.
The application runs on a hosted web server outside our corporate firewall. To get the content to our corporate server in the appropriate folder we use scripts and scheduled tasks. While there are a number of “hoops” to go through the process has been remarkably stable and reliable.
With the combination of our in-house development skills and APT’s Falcon features we have made tremendous progress reaching our goal of quickly posting content to the website. Technological challenges for the future include streamlining our digital edition workflow, adding video, sound and animated graphics for digital devices and making our newsroom more mobile.
Dennis Sullivan, Product Development Reed Business Information
"We have been a longtime customer of APT from ACT to Falcon. We print for four other remote sites in our group. During the initial consolidation, we were using email and FTP as our primary sources of routing files to Marion.
"Marion IN consolidated all page design and layout duties from four other remote sites. We print all of the products in Marion. Prior to the installation of FEO, we were challenged by keeping story and page changes organized by using email and FTP.
"Since Marion is performing the page design, [with FEO now installed] the remote sites simply check out a blank, preformatted Word document for their story content. Each site has a queue structure that is visible to the page designers in Falcon. The page designers check the status of the remote documents to determine if they are checked in, checked out, or ready to be put on the page.
"This was a positive move from an IT perspective. There are no longer Editorial servers to maintain/backup at the remote sites. Troubleshooting email and FTP clients from a variety of platforms has been minimized [through the use of FEO]. Brent, IT Director Chronicle Tribune Marion Indiana
A new trend in the newspaper industry is consolidating newspaper locations and operations. This allows jointly owned newspapers to not only save money, but also easily share their content and improve efficiency. Before taking advantage of the benefits from consolidation, take into account all factors. Each publication has different workflows, hardware and software. When the Times Herald in Port Huron and Battle Creek Enquirer in Battle Creek, two of Gannett Co. Inc.'s Michigan newspapers first considered consolidating their production processes in 2009, they had to evaluate the differences between the newspapers and how each change would impact their business. Battle Creek was on a different Mac based editorial system. Port Huron, a long time APT customer, upgraded to InDesign and Falcon Editorial in March of 2008. A key reason for consolidating with Falcon was the reliability and performance of this latest version.
Each site worked together in concert with APT's staff to make sure that all of the logistics of the consolidation and all of the minute details were resolved. The Falcon Editorial System was a key element in the successful consolidation of the two papers. Falcon managed the two papers with ease, sharing resources between the sites while maintaining their individual identities.
APT's latest version of Falcon Editorial was designed to streamline editorial process and support multi-site implementation.
- Web browser interface for remote access, stringers etc.
- AP WebFeeds support
- The ability to automatically route stories as XML to web and other locations
- Supporting all current layout and word processor programs
- Cross platform
These and many other new features make Falcon Editorial a great choice for newspapers and magazines in today's market who are looking for a new editorial system, or those wanting to upgrade from an older version. Contact APT to find out how affordable our solution is. To find out more about Falcon Editorial, contact Wolfie Frank, firstname.lastname@example.org 818-557-3035 ext. 111 or Ken Barber email@example.com 818-557-3035 ext. 115
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