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TEGNA Invests in Video Caller Television Company

July 02, 2015

No matter what your views are, there is probably a radio talk show that brings the same like-minded people together. Whether you are a conservative, liberal, food lover or believe in extraterrestrials, the shows attract audiences that are passionate. Companies have tried to translate the format to TV, but it hasn’t attracted the same loyal following of radio talk shows. However, this might be changing soon, if the technology The Video Call Center (VCC) has created sees increased adoption. And the investment it received from TEGNA, formerly Gannett, could be the backing it needed to make it possible.

Even though the word synergy has lost favor in business circles, the collaboration between TEGNA and VCC has synergy written all over it. The reason is the media presence TEGNA has across the U.S., which reaches more than 90 million Americans through its 46 television stations and other holdings.

With this investment, TEGNA will have access to the patented VCC television workflow technology to create live, real-time original content from video callers. This new genre of television called video caller television allows programs to be created with video callers from anywhere around the world. The company is looking to use the VCC technology to start developing original programming across traditional channels as well as social, mobile and online formats.

With more than 100 hours of live programming already under its belt, VCC is a proven platform for what TEGNA has in mind.

“We believe this digital technology will foster innovation in the area of live, interactive programming across multiple platforms,” said Dave Lougee, president, TEGNA Media. “This forward-thinking partnership positions us well digitally, and in the future, as the VCC seamlessly combines social media, television and the web to maximize viewer engagement.”

The patented technology developed by VCC builds an entire show from callers that have been screened in real time and selected live by the show’s host.

The VCC project is the brainchild of Tom Wolzien, a former NBC News executive and longtime Wall Street media analyst. As the viewing habits of audiences continue to change with on demand options, the market needed a cost effective live programming platform. With VCC, a staff of two to five people can create professional quality TV shows integrating Skype video calls from as many as eight people at a time.

Image via Shutterstock

“The Video Call Center is re-inventing television and TEGNA’s investment will help speed that re-invention process across the industry,” said Wolzien, founder, creator and chairman of The Video Call Center. “Within five years, video caller television will be a mainstay among broadcast stations, cable networks and web services seeking to extend viewer interaction.”

With so many media outlets in the marketplace, it was only a matter of time until this kind of technology started being integrated into traditional television. While in the past the cost of having live video feeds from multiple locations made it very difficult, wireless broadband, mobile technology and applications such as Skype can now make it viable option.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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