WBND (ABC57) (www.abc57.com) is the ABC affiliated television station located in South Bend, Indiana. The station is owned by Weigel Broadcasting Co.
The local newscast that was offered to viewers of ABC57 was produced by its sister station located in Milwaukee. Airing for only 11 minutes per day at 11pm, station management decided they wanted to open a newsroom at the station in South Bend to provide more localized news for their viewers. This decision was made in October of 2010, with the goal of having the first broadcast air in April 2011.
The management of ABC57 was tasked with building a newsroom from the ground up - including purchasing a facility, building the infrastructure, buying the equipment necessary for live broadcasting and hiring/training staff - all within a six month timeframe. When time, budget and manpower restricted many options, LiveU was retained as a technology vendor to assist with successfully getting live newscasts on the air.
The station is airing 2.5 hours of live newscasts per day: 6-7am, 6-6:30pm, 7-7:30pm and 11-11:30pm. Because of their success with the LiveU product, ABC57 now has four of the LU60 backpacks.The ease of use of the LiveU product enables the station to reduce staffing costs, allowing budgetary savings. Approx. 90% of the station’s live shots are broadcast from the field by just one person – the multimedia journalist. By not using a traditional satellite truck, the need to have both a photojournalist and engineer out in the field with a reporter to set up a shot and get it back to the station is not necessary.
At a recent local news conference, ABC57 was able to deploy just one person to cover the event live. The station’s market competitors, in contrast, had teams of three people covering the same event. The Notre Dame women’s basketball team was playing in Indianapolis in the Final Four on the day of the station’s launch in April 2011. ABC57 sent two multimedia journalists, each with a camera, laptop and one backpack unit to share. The team successfully provided two stories per broadcast, whereas the station’s competitors, each sending a team of three with a traditional satellite truck, provided just one story.