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09/04/2002

IBM digitalises BBC Local Radio production

BBC Local Radio and IBM have announced that IBM Global Services have completed the first phase of BBC Local Radio’s nationwide digital production and broadcast roll out.
As part of IBM’s Digital Media solution framework, partner Jutel and integrated IBM technologies are fully implemented at 26 BBC Local Radio sites throughout England.
The all-digital system now enhances workflow efficiency for the BBC radio stations and significantly improves day-to-day radio production processes. Users can then share information easily across local networks and create even higher quality programming packages.
Sandy Milne, Digital Projects Manager, English Regions, said: “This major investment by BBC English Regions has enabled us to replace obsolete analogue equipment with state-of-the-art digital technology. It means that local radio can get even closer to its audiences by being able to deliver services in a more localised way, as well as improving reliability and enhancing production values.”
IBM’s Digital Media Factory architecture has enabled the integration of Jutel’s RadioMan radio station technology with IBM x-series eServers and IntelliStations. IBM Global Services also used and IBM middleware and DB2 database software in the digital media solution for the BBC.
Phase two of the implementation – which comprises replacement of radio automation equipment at a further 14 BBC Local Radio stations with the IBM/Jutel solution – will commence this year. The final system will comprise the world's largest decentralised computer-assisted radio system, consisting of over 1,000 workstations nationwide.
"By bringing together best-of-breed technology solutions and integration expertise, IBM Global Services has delivered the first phase of this major project on time, to schedule and within budget," said Andy Brierley, EMEA Media Principal, IBM Global Services.
"Implementation of this Digital Media solution using both IBM and Jutel will let the BBC deliver real and demonstrable benefits to journalists and production teams working throughout BBC Local Radio England wide."
There are 39 BBC Local Radio stations in England that broadcast predominantly speech based output from 6am to 1am every day. The stations attract about eight million listeners.
IBM Global Services is the world’s largest information technology services provider, with approximately 150,000 professionals serving customers in 160 countries and with revenues of $35 billion in 2001.
BBC Local Radio, www.bbc.co.uk/england
IBM, www.ibm.com
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