Videolicious Blog

Created With Videolicious: Hurricane Harvey Coverage by Tribune Media

It was a difficult hurricane season in the US and Caribbean. Hurricane Harvey set all kinds of new records from costliest tropical storm ever (inflicting over $200 billion in damages) to wettest storm to ever make landfall in the US (with peak accumulations as high as 60 inches of water).

For most, hurricanes of Harvey’s magnitude mean evacuation (or failing that, getting to as high of ground as possible to wait for the floods to recede). For news stations, hurricanes represent a challenging story that has to be covered regardless of road and weather conditions.

In the midst of surging floods and pounding rain, KIAH-TV, Tribune Broadcasting’s Houston, TX station faced a unique reporting challenge. When Harvey made landfall, many of its employees could not physically commute to the station, limiting the content that could be produced, edited, and distributed in the station’s coverage of the storm. With a skeleton crew manning the controls at the station, KIAH-TV needed a streamlined and decentralized way to produce video content that would allow for quick and quality coverage of the events of Hurricane Harvey as they unfolded.

Like many other Tribune Media stations, KIAH-TV had used Videolicious before, mostly for online digital and social content, but never as an on-air tool. A few contributors at the station were familiar with Videolicious, but with severe weather conditions preventing employees from getting to the station, administrators at KIAH-TV gave publisher permissions to other users and quickly developed a workflow that would allow them to broadcast video content without excessive post-production.

“It was as simple as a mark in, mark out,” says Cameron Miller, Director of News Operations for KIAH-TV, referring to all that had to be done to the content produced with Videolicious once it was uploaded. “We actually were able to get that content to air very quickly.”

Some employees who had never before been on air found themselves not only producing their own videos with Videolicious but also starring in their own segments as they covered the events of the hurricane.

The plan was to produce the videos as completely as possible in Videolicious, requiring only minimum editing before airing. “They were using their phones and trying to do these things in one take knowing the goal was we don’t want to have to do anything once we get it back,” continued Miller. “The way they got sent in is how they went to air.”

In addition to running with the Videolicious-produced packages on air, the videos were also published online and through social media. “They were nice companion pieces to the Harvey coverage we were doing,” says Miller. A total of 11 clips went on air while KIAH-TV produced 25 videos with Videolicious during the hurricane.

In addition to KIAH-TV, Tribune Broadcasting has over 25 stations across multiple markets in the United States using Videolicious, typically to produce digital content posted online and social media.