McClatchy sets Caroli­nas data cen­ter

The Char­lotte Ob­server will house CCI Europe NewsGate server that could even­tu­ally link seven news­rooms.

Newspapers & Technology Magazine - - Front Page - By Tara McMeekin

The McClatchy Co. this spring will launch a data cen­ter at The Char­lotte (N.C.) Ob­server that could even­tu­ally link edi­to­rial op­er­a­tions among the pub­lisher’s seven pa­pers in the Caroli­nas.

An­chored by CCI Europe’s NewsGate ap­pli­ca­tion, The Ob­server (daily, 201,532; Sun­day, 262,124) will go live with the soft­ware some­time in May, ac­cord­ing to Neil Mara, news sys­tems di­rec­tor. At its out­set the data cen­ter will link The Ob­server and The Her­ald in Rock Hill, S.C., and fa­cil­i­tate con­tent shar­ing be­tween the pub­lisher’s news­rooms.

“Since McClatchy’s pur­chase of Knight Rid­der a year and a half ago, we’ve been look­ing at ways we can co­op­er­ate and one of the first things we did af­ter the sale went through was to get all of the edi­tors to­gether to start talk­ing about how they can im­prove cov­er­age by co­or­di­nat­ing and shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and sto­ries,” Mara said. “This is not aimed just at ef­fi­cien­cies, it’s aimed at im­prov­ing cov­er­age and al­low­ing us to do things we couldn’t do be­fore.”

McClatchy has been shar­ing some con­tent up to now, Mara said, and many of the pa­pers in the group al­ready use CCI’s News­Desk edi­to­rial app for print pro­duc­tion.

Crude tools

“We’ve al­ready been en­gaged in the kinds of con­tent shar­ing ac­tiv­i­ties around news that this sort of sys­tem is built for, but we’ve been do­ing it with very crude tools,” Mara said.

Those tools in­clude e-mail and send­ing sto­ries in­tended for shar­ing through the McClatchy Tri­bune News Ser­vice.

NewsGate will go a step fur­ther to al­low mul­ti­ple news­rooms to ex­ist within one sys­tem. The data cen­ter en­ables staff to re­view the bud­gets of sis­ter pa­pers and share con­tent dy­nam­i­cally. It also fa­cil­i­tates man­age­ment from print to dig­i­tal out­lets in­clud­ing text mes­sag­ing, video and television.

At­trac­tive op­tion

“That’s re­ally one of the things that was at­trac­tive to us about it,” Mara said. “NewsGate pro­vides very com­pre­hen­sive con­tent plan­ning tools, and that’s an area where edi­to­rial sys­tems are nor­mally quite weak,” Mara said.

With NewsGate, Mara said edi­tors and con­tent gen­er­a­tors around the

Caroli­nas will have a bet­ter over­all view of the var­i­ous news­rooms. For The Ob­server and The Her­ald, the NewsGate server will al­low con­tent shar­ing while elim­i­nat­ing the need for du­pli­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to Rick Thames, ed­i­tor at The Ob­server.

“We have over­lap­ping cov­er­age ar­eas with Rock Hill and some of the things we’re now do­ing twice, we’ll be able to do once, very eas­ily,” he said.

Be­cause of the news syn­er­gies through­out the Caroli­nas, Thames said the data cen­ter has “fab­u­lous po­ten­tial.”

“So much of what we’re do­ing in Char­lotte the other pa­pers will be nat­u­rally in­ter­ested in, and to the ex­tent that we have CCI in other places, we’ll be able to do this seam­lessly.”

If the co­or­di­na­tion and ef­fi­cien­cies ex­pected are re­al­ized in the Char­lotte/ Rock Hill roll­out, McClatchy will in­stall NewsGate at four ad­di­tional South Carolina pa­pers — The State in Columbia, The Sun News in Myr­tle Beach, The Beau­fort Gazette and The Is­land Packet in Hil­ton Head — as well as The News & Ob­server in Raleigh, N.C.

“If this is suc­cess­ful, we en­vi­sion ex­tend­ing it to the rest of those pa­pers,” said Terry Geiger, di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate IT for McClatchy. “We also want to see what ad­van­tages it pro­vides just in terms of con­sol­i­da­tion of ser­vices to de­ter­mine if we also want to ex­tend it to our News­Desk op­er­a­tions in Fort Worth and Kansas City.”

In that case, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Tele­gram and the Kansas City (Mo.) Star would likely serve as hubs, or data cen­ters, for ad­di­tional McClatchy pa­pers in those ar­eas.

“If it’s just more of a ser­vices con­sol­i­da­tion, then just re­gion­al­iz­ing un­der News­Desk may be ad­e­quate,” he said.

Geiger said all seven pa­pers should be able to work from a cen­tral server in Char­lotte, and al­though some mi­nor tweaks may be nec­es­sary, ad­di­tional hard­ware won’t likely be needed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.