KSAT-TV recognized for innovation after building digital newscast from scratch


KSAT-TV in San Antonio is setting the standard for excellence when it comes to digital innovation.

The station realized it had a huge opportunity on its hands, and recently decided to create a brand-new newscast at 9 p.m. to be live-streamed on its OTT channel.

The Knight-Cronkite News Lab -- which is a joint effort between the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University -- works to discover and share experiments from local TV newsrooms around the country. And the news lab is now profiling KSAT and its digital newscast, which the team built from scratch.

The story addresses how the show got off the ground: there were several challenges. For starters, KSAT didn’t really have a space to produce this show. The 10 p.m. broadcast needed the studio and control room to get ready for air. So News@9, as the new program is called, moved out into the newsroom — new set, production area, cameras, prompter, lights and all.

“We are smack dab in the middle of the newsroom,” the show’s anchor, Myra Arthur, told the news lab. “The set is not even five feet behind my desk, so everyone is working and talking around me. And I think that just lends itself to a show that’s a little more conversational and a little more off-the-cuff.”

The story addresses other technical challenges, workflow challenges and the need to create "something completely different."

"It’s one thing to come up with grand ideas about innovation, but it’s an entirely different thing to actually execute on them," the article says.

Hats off to our colleages in San Antonio!

Check out the new lab's article in full.

KSAT Community intiative produces "Week of Giving" for Texas disaster relief

KSAT12 mobilized several forces to help with Hurricane Harvey relief, just as the South Texas coast was trying to recover, and Houston was facing the wrath of the storm. 

"Our 'KSAT Community' project was built to respond to just such relief efforts," said KSAT12 VP/General Manager Phil Lane, "We have the ability to quickly mobilize our community partners to deliver help when and where it is most needed."

As the flooding waters were invading Houston, KSAT12 produced a "week of giving" holding several relief efforts which netted huge responses.  The first effort launched on the Monday after the Texas coast was blasted with very high winds. 

KSAT12 held a Red Cross Donation Line and raised over $80,000 in just a couple of hours.  Then, later in the week, the station held a food drive with the San Antonio Food Bank and collected over 200 thousand pounds of food and other necessities to keep shelters stocked with items for evacuees.

KSAT12 also contacted our Graham Media Group sister station, KPRC 2 in Houston, to help with their needs.   A blood drive with one of our KSAT Community partners was set up to respond to the need for donations throughout the region.