#60 Post Production in Broadcast News Media and Advances in Editing Workflows with Robert Lawson, Director of Technology, News Editing, CBS News

In this episode of The Workflow Show, Ben and Jason have the privilege of interviewing industry veteran, Robert Lawson, Director of Technology, News Editing at CBS News. With over 20 years of experience, Robert brings a refreshing perspective about the common struggles of new tech in 2021, versus the transitions in broadcast media of the past, such as the move from analog and linear editing. The quick pace and stringent ethics of news reporting create separate challenges for post-production compared to feature film, network series, and others. Ben and Jason discuss with Robert important tools and workflows that help with the unique needs of news media.

#1 “What’s in store?”

This is the first episode (length 18-min.) of a new audio podcast series from Chesapeake Systems.

The Workflow Show features Merrel Davis and Nick Gold of Chesa’s Pro Services Sales team.
The media-centric IT space is undergoing unprecedented change, and Merrel and Nick aim to address overarching trends and specific tech topics to help our network of clients and contacts navigate through these exciting, yet challenging times.

In this first show, Merrel and Nick introduce themselves and discuss what the focus will be for each of the four upcoming episodes.

Comments are welcome below . . . or feel free to email us directly.

Listen to The Workflow Show #102, “The NLE Wars”

#2 The NLE Wars

When Final Cut Pro X was introduced, and Apple dropped sales of FCP 7, there was a lot of resentment within the professional video post-production world. “What gives?” was the common cry.

And more importantly, “What are we supposed to do now?” was the next banner.

We know this is a life and death question for many of our customers.

Merrel Davis and Nick Gold of our Pro Services Sales Team explore the “NLE (non-linear editing) Wars” in depth, put it all in perspective, and then provide detailed analyses of the options you have today.  (length 54:45)


Merrel Davis

Nick Gold

UPDATE: Hmmm, does the release of FCP X 10.0.6 “thicken the plot”? Read more.

#3 “What’s Up with the Mac Pro?”

How committed is Apple to the Mac Pro? And what may be in store? Are there alternatives you can utilize now? In this third episode of our new podcast series, Nick Gold and Merrel Davis discuss these questions.

Not subscribed to the series? Click here.

Show Notes:

Mac Pro

Sandy Bridge chipset

Ivy Bridge chipset

Sonnet Technologies

Daring Fireball

#4 “Archive vs. Backup”

In the digital workflow world, “archive” and “backup” are often mistakenly thought to mean the same thing. That can be dangerous. They are two distinct strategies.

Merrel Davis and Nick Gold of Chesapeake Systems explain.

Show Notes:

Learn more about the story of the church that was hit by lightening, seriously damaged by fire, and is now the headquarters for Chesapeake Systems.

snopes.com (re: mention about roller coaster accidents)

LTO Ultrium website
LTO roadmap for the future
No, Nick is not making this stuff up . . . there is serious concern about cosmic rays causing data loss – IEEE article
LTFS explained futher – from LTO Ultrium website
LTFS Reality Check – article from Archiware
Write your comments below, or email us. Also, we encourage you to rate the show on iTunes as well.4

#5 Just the facts, MAM. Or, What is Media Asset Management?

If time = money in your post-production environment, then in today’s digital workflow arena, you need to incorporate MAM, Media Asset Management.

Nick Gold and Merrel Davis explain all the intricacies of MAM, including cousins DAM (Digital Asset Management) and PAM (Production Asset Management).

MAM is not just another technical add-on. It also requires a culture shift within your whole post-production operations. But the productivity gains — aka “keeping editing fun” is well worth the investment.

At the end of this podcast, you’ll have a firm understanding of this burgeoning, impactful technology and know what next steps to take.



Show hosts: Merrel Davis and Nick Gold (click on photos for further background on these guys)

Episode length: 1:10:34

Show Notes

* definition of Taxonomy

* MAM (Media Asset Management)
* DAM (Digital Asset Management)
* PAM (Production Asset Management)
Avid acquires Blue Order
Read our eNewsletter about our exhibiting at DAM NY 2012, a show that is sponsored by Henry Stewart Events in the UK. In that same eNewsletter, read about the automated post-production project manager software, FocalPoint Server; and the dialogue search software, Nexidia. Chesapeake Systems is a re-seller for both products.
Your comments are welcome below. Please feel free to also email us. Or call series producer, David Ryan at 410-400-8934.
Subscribe to The Workflow Show podcast series in iTunes and be notified when new episodes are ready for your listening. Also, this is a great way to catch previous episodes. We’d appreciate your taking a second to rate the series on iTunes as well.
View the show notes for the previous episode, #104 “Archive vs. Backup

#6 “What is ‘Over-the-Top’ Internet Broadcasting”

OTT refers to the delivery of video content over the internet to viewers who can access that content on a wide range of devices including computers, tablets, smartphones and internet video set-top boxes.

Another important aspect of Over-the-Top content delivery is that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), who may also have a stake in paid content distribution (e.g. Comcast Xfinity, Verizon FiOS), do not have any control over what OTT content producers send through the internet to viewers. Therefore, the ISPs are cut out of additional content-based revenue generation and are reduced to simply being “pipes to the internet.”

Examples of Over-the-Top content providers include YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, CollegeHumor.com and Revision3.

In this episode of The Workflow Show, Merrel Davis and Nick Gold discuss how OTT promises to be a real “game changer” in the media universe. And it’s a change you want to be a part of.

We encourage you to subscribe to this podcast series in iTunes.

This episode is 1:06:15 in length. (Suggestion: We are hearing a lot of folks enjoy listening to the podcast during the commute.)

Show Notes


PlayStation 3
Google TV
Samsung Blu-ray player
Xbox 360
long GOP H.264
Episode from Telestream
Sorenson Squeeze
Glenn Beck TV
Revision3 network bought by Discovery
CDN = content delivery network
Blackmagic converters
Just:Play & Just:Out
Haivision – Kulabyte
HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)
Nick Gold recenty spoke about Over-the-Top Broadcasting at a SMPTE DC chapter meeting. Read more.


Meet Merrel Davis, The Workflow Show co-host and our National/Pro Services Division Inside Sales guy:

Your comments are welcome below, or please feel free to email us.

Also, we would appreciate your rating and/or reviewing this episode or the whole series in iTunes.

BTW, Have your heard about the cool ARRI ALEXA digital camera?

#7 “Storage SANity”

Storage Area Networks (SANs) are essential to make multi-workstation video post-production facilities work smoothly. In this episode, Nick Gold and Merrel Davis  explain in detail all the elements that go into creating a well-functioning SAN environment. After listening, you too will be well-versed in this critical realm within digital workflows.

The length of this episode is 1:12:32.  We find that many folks like listening to our podcasts while commuting.

Your comments are welcome below.  You can also email us directly.

The Workflow Show podcast series is also available through iTUnes. We invite you to subscribe to the series, and we urge you to rank or review the series in iTunes as well.

Show Notes:
SAN (storage area network)

DAS (direct attached storage)

NAS (network attached storage)

SAS (serial attached SCSI)

Gigabit ethernet

10-gigabit ethernet

file server
RAID redundacy
File-sharing protocols

Jumbo frames

SCS (Small Computer System Interface)

Fibre Channel  
Host Bus Adapter (HBA)
file-locking and volume-locking SANs
metadata controller
Xsan and StorNext

NAS vs SAN comparison

Oh, and to set the record straight regarding Merrel & Nick’s discussion about PBS’ The Newshour former hosts — Yes, Jim Lehrer has retired from the show and contrary to what was implied, Robin MacNeil is alive and well working on variety of projects.

Did you catch The Workflow Show episode about “Media Asset Management”?

#8 “Growing Pains”

You’re expanding your successful video production company. Congrats! Now it’s time to take a fresh approach toward your post-production environment.

Nick Gold and Merrel Davis draw upon the first seven installments of our new audio podcast series to give a wide range of advice on how to avoid critical pitfalls.

You may also listen to the shows and subscribe to the series in iTunes.

The length of this episode is 00:51:41.



Merrel Davis

Nick Gold

Show Notes

Prodcuer’s note: Many facilities refer to the central document for editors that Nick & Merrel talk about in the show as “The Bible.”

Gantt Chart


Feel free to comment below or email us at The Workflow Show.

We are appreciative that the series is attracting a lot of listeners. It’s now been recognized as “New and Noteworthy” in the tech podcast category in iTunes. Your reviews and ratings on iTunes have been responsible for that, and we ask that you continue doing that so that we can reach an even larger audience.

We feel we have a lot of important information to share, and we are having a lot of fun doing so. We hope you agree.

Did you catch the previous episode, “Storage SANity” ?

#9 “In the Year 2525 . . .”

Everyone in the media field today looks around and wonders, “What’s in store for me down the road?”

With the hit song from 1969 “In the Year 2525,” blaring throughout our office space for inspiration while planning this episode of The Workflow Show, co-hosts Nick Gold and Merrel Davis decided to limit their predictions to what the realm of video production and post digital workflows will be like in 2020. (With the way the IT & media-related fields are changing, looking out eight years is challenging enough!)

And at the end, they pass along some advice to the wise: stay current with the tech, and be nimble.

episode length: 45:50

We encourage you to listen & subscribe to the podcast series in iTunes

Show Notes:

PlayStation 9 ad for PS2

The definition of RAW files

split screen gaming redefined


FPS = first-person shooter

Light field camera

GoPro camera

NPR story on civilian drones

Minority Report

skeuomorph definition

Adobe Anywhere

AVID Interplay Sphere – check out our AVID One-on-One Demos

PostWorks in NYC

Instagram app

ARRI Alexa and RED

We welcome your comments below, or feel free to email us