TV Ditches Paper Scripts for iPad, Saves $2,000 a Month

A TV station in Albany, Georgia is saving US$2,000 per month in printing costs by using iPads for writing and reading scripts. The station, WFXL, is one of 15 stations owned by Barrington Broadcasting, and it made the switch to both save money and reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

According to an article by Poynter Online, the station e-mails new and edited scripts to individual e-mail accounts set up for each iPad. Each iPad is also set up with a $6.99 iPad app called iAnnotate PDF — a PDF reader and annotation tool — for using the scripts in live and recorded situations.

In an e-mail interview, the station’s news director, Terry Graham, and interactive managing editor, Vincent Hunt, said the iPad had three distinct advantages over traditional laptops, its price point, size and intuitiveness, and access to the App Store, where the station will be able to tap into future app development when needed.

“At a modest $499 to $599 for each unit,” Mr. Hunt said, “you are getting a very dynamic device at a very reasonable price. Though the iPad does not boast the productivity of a laptop, the productivity of a laptop is not needed on the news desk.”

Though change is often resented and resisted, the two said that the station’s employees were very happy with the change, with Mr. Graham saying, “My staff members keep saying, ‘We’re not going back to paper scripts!’”

There’s additional information in the full interview at Poynter Online.