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Profile: Jeffrey Polikoff

Jun 17, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: Director of engineering and operations at NY1 News.
Background: Mr. Polikoff joined NY1 in 1996 after serving as production manager for WNYW-TV, the Fox affiliate in New York. He worked for NBC from 1981 to 1994 in various positions, including operations, engineering, editing and directing.
More space: NY1 moved into a new facility in late January with a high-tech digital newsroom and twice the space of its former location. “Everybody was sharing desk space,” he said. “Getting into a studio was a problem because everyone was backed up. We didn’t have significant prep time for shows.” Square footage has grown from 25,000 to 50,000, the number of studios has doubled from two to four, and there are now six satellite dishes, up from three, he said.
All-in-one journalists: The revamped newsroom has allowed NY1 to extend its philosophy of one-person crews even further. The channel has always prided itself on its reporters’ versatility, since they report and shoot the stories themselves. Now many of them also edit their pieces using the Pinnacle Vortex nonlinear editing system, which was installed in the new facility.
Reporters give their tape to a feed editor when they return from a story. The material is then ingested into the Pinnacle system, and when the reporters return to their desks the video is available for editing on the desktop. They can search for material using the Omnibus system, identify clips to use and double click on them to bring the selections into the timeline of the editing system, he said. “It’s not that different than doing cut and paste in [Microsoft] Word for a simple news story,” he said. This process, however, does not render editors obsolete, he said. Many reporters rely on editors to clean up their pieces and often call upon them for help during the busiest times of the day. In addition, writers now edit their own material. “Now they can write the script to video instead of writing first and throwing video on to it. So it’s a better way of controlling the process,” he said.