With hand-me-down equipment and a great deal of ambition, WUFT signed on the air for the first time on November 10, 1958. As a new division of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, WUFT’s goal was to provide educational broadcasting to the University of Florida and other schools within the broadcast area.
Since that sign-on over 50 years ago, many changes have taken place at WUFT and in public television in general. Technological advances and viewer tastes have caused public broadcasters to re-think and re-direct public television programming.
Along with changes in the quality of our public television services came an increase in the quality of WUFT Channel 5’s facilities. In 1980, WUFT moved from antiquated studios and offices in the Stadium building to facilities in the new College of Journalism and Communications building, later named Weimer Hall. Equipment grants were gradually secured to bring to the station state-of-the-art television origination and production equipment. That trend continues as WUFT is able to upgrade and replace older equipment.
WUFT’s Tim Brueckner is in charge of keeping the station on the air and choose Florical’s automation suite to assist in this mission. WUFT runs Florical”s AirBoss on three broadcast channels 24/7 with mostly PBS and local content; including a 6:30 live newscast. The Florical system has been online since 2001, and recently updated in 2009. WUFT is a strategic partner with Florical Systems R&D in developing tools geared towards PBS affiliates and other public broadcasting channels.
“Florical has been a wonderful partner, not just an equipment vendor” says Brueckner. “We engage them with our visions for the station, and they provide a wide array of tools that help us reach our goals.”
Being a public broadcaster is tough these days: the “do more with less” mantra is a fact. Florical’s suite of products touches every aspect of master control, and really drives the station”s workflow.
WUFT is planning to upgrade to the BXF interface for Myers ProTrack. Florical is using our design specs and developing a dynamic and comprehensive standard-based BXF (SMPTE 2021) interface to the traffic system. This also addresses discovery of NGIS delivered content, providing a well integrated solution for other PBS stations.
Tim states, “although the NGIS project has taken longer than everyone expected, when the time comes we know we are in good hands. Florical has had similar digital acquisition tools in place for almost a decade. That, combined with an automation suite with 25+ years of R&D behind it; I believe there isn’t anything they can”t tackle. They are very capable and understand the needs of the PBS market.
WUFT-TV is a division of the UF College of Journalism and Communications .