Product Spotlight: EZNews

Oct 28, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it is: A newsroom computer system from Automated Data Systems in La Crosse, Wis.
What it does: EZNews is an up-and-coming newsroom computer system found at universities and radio stations and is making inroads into commercial TV stations. About a dozen TV stations, including ABC affiliate WBII-TV in Bangor, Maine, and several PBS stations, use the system. EZNews is a Windows-based solution designed for smaller markets. EZNews allows users to build newscasts, produce scripts, receive wires and plan future coverage and archive shows.
Features and benefits: EZNews is friendly and easy to use, said Gerald Jensen, president, co-founder and director of operations for the company. The system uses keystrokes and shortcuts similar to other Windows applications. The layout for EZNews is akin to Microsoft Outlook, with folders, for instance, on the left side and scripts and rundowns on the right.
EZNews upgrades the software about five times a year and automatically adjusts the Help section of the system when those updates are made, he said. While closed-captioning is a standard function for a newsroom computer system, EZNews allows the TelePrompTer operator to control the output of closed-captioning.
Cost: The system is designed for smaller-market stations and has a lower cost. A system can start at $6,500 and run to $35,000, though most installations average $22,000. It doesn’t require much engineering support and generates very few trouble calls, Mr. Jensen said.
The pricing is often at 60 percent to 70 percent less than the competition and always at least 40 percent less, he said. Only one to two hours of training is needed for staffers to be fully operational on the system.
What’s new: ADS has partnered with Chyron to provide turnkey packages with the company’s character generator software. The Chyron products are bundled with EZNews and cost a little under $10,000.