Concrete and multi-channel publishing: What a media firm of the future looks like

314 windows, 273 stairs, 46 toilets, 4 floors and the length of a football field: The impressive concrete structure at the edge of Chur has a floor space of 8000 square metres. This roughly corresponds to 80 average-sized detached houses. However, the building also houses 400 people – 320 from Somedia and 80 from Chur University of Applied Sciences (HTW).

Back in the day, ‘Glarner Nachrichten’ was the first Swiss newspaper that switched its full production to Mac. Today, almost 20 years later, the company proves its pioneering spirit once again. Somedia is reconfiguring the entire production to multi-channel publishing, moves into a new building, and sends a strong message for the future with the Chur media firm.

The idea, the desire

Media production is based on media consumption

TV, radio, print and online editors come together under one roof. The TV journalist meets the radio moderator, as well as the newspaper editor. Just the same as readers, viewers and listeners find their content simultaneously. Today’s consumers use their tablets to browse news pages while watching TV with the radio playing in the background.

Somedia wanted to do justice to this development of simultaneous media consumption with new tools and processes. The goal was to redesign the entire production of online and print content to a multi-channel publishing environment. The focus was on flexibilisation, standardisation and automation.

“We took a major step forward in digital and convergent media production. Instead of being forced to chase the diversity and simultaneous media consumption, we wanted to play an active role in shaping the development.”
Fredy Bühler, Head of IT Services, Somedia

The solution

A tool for all media content and channels

The multi-channel publishing system was adapted to the particularities at Somedia. They needed to do justice to the diversity of Südostschweiz media with its regional splits, Rhaeto-Romanic versions, web portals, apps, radio and TV. Advertisement combinations also pose a great challenge for process and tool configuration.

“Thanks to the additional special developments by A&F, our editors can now supply all out media channels with a single tool: daily and weekly newspapers, web portals, apps and social media.”
Fredy Bühler, Head of IT Services, Somedia

In the same system, the editorial team plans its contributions, monitors and processes agency notices and photographs, searches the archive or determines audio and video files for web portals and apps.

These tools act as multi-channel publishing solution at Somedia

The solution comprises the Enterprise editing system with the central cockpit Content Station and the digital asset management system Elvis by WoodWing, as well as page design and advertisement production solutions by DIG.

Additional special developments complete the multi-channel publishing workflow. For instance, topics are planned directly from the Content Station, facilitated by the connection to DeskNet. In addition a WoodWing interface to Drupal 8 was specifically developed for direct publication in the news portal. Another particularity in the MasterChannel which facilitates media-neutral article recording.

Conclusion

Such projects need specialist knowledge and support

With the new tools and processes, the Layout of ‘Südostschweiz’ was changed fundamentally, and the company relocated to new media building with completely new radio and TV technology. Bühler notes that in projects of these dimensions and such diversity, it is crucial that the employees stand 100% behind such complete restructuring efforts, pull their weight and, in particular, are familiar with the multi-layer processes of convergent media production. 

“But you also need an integrator that is competent and flexible. Who is willing to try something new. A pioneer. Back then in 1996, we found this with A&F. And we did again now.”
Fredy Bühler, Head of IT Services, Somedia

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Urs Felber, Geschäftsführer / VRP
Urs
Felber
Managing Director / Chair of the Board of Directors
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