Comprompter History

The first COMPROMPTER ENR (Electronic NewsRoom) was installed and went into operation in August of 1982. The original system developer, Ralph King, organized a business partnership and in April of 1985, formed the present corporation and became its President. Comprompter was among the pioneers in electronic newsrooms and is the only independent company that still has the original developer as its president.

In these days of corporate buyouts and mergers, it is unique to find a company that is self-owned, still has its original president, and still creates and controls its own products.

Timely Installation and Training are critical.

When a television newsroom converts to a new computer system, there is a time frame into which the system must integrate for the smoothest possible transition for the client.

Training personnel during a computer installation is difficult at any station, but it is particularly difficult for smaller stations where news staff is forced to do their training between stories. Inevitably there is always at least one or two people that are resistant to change, sometimes it's the sports guy, sometimes it is a senior reporter who is unwilling to adjust and this is where a really good, experienced trainer who has “been there, done that” comes in handy.

Meeting Special Needs is just as important as the Basic Ones.

Stations always have special needs, and, as a small company, Comprompter that will take the time to work with you in resolving those needs. If your station needs to distribute Network Video Feeds to various workstations so that producers can preview network stories and get them to air easier and faster, Comprompter can set up the ENR system so that people who are producing and/or writing have instant access to view the network low-resolution video directly on their workstation. Thus, eliminating the need to physically move to view a tape in an edit bay or control room.

By just popping open the viewer, a writer or producer can see the video at their desk, and get an more exact picture of what they’re doing when they write a reporter track or a SOT. It's also easier and more efficient to actually look at a story and tell if it's really a feature that fits into the news show. When you make it easy for people to actually look at the video they’re working with, you’ll end up with writing and captioning that better marries words to pictures. As stations go digital locally, this functionality can be added to their local news stories as well.

Comprompter is a NewsRoom company that really knows news.

If you’ve used other newsroom systems, the first thing that becomes clear is that Comprompter knows news … and production. The producer desks are very powerful and enable you to manipulate "show rundowns" better than you have ever experienced. Whether you use Comprompter for just TV or for an “All News All The Time” radio station. Comprompter comes through with flying colors every time. An all-news radio station is particularly demanding because "live shows" are being produced and presented 24 hours a day. Comprompter can even trigger your news audio playbacks automatically. All the packages, radio voicers and actualities load, cue and play at exactly the right time.

Automation should mean “easier”.

In terms of automation, the character generator interface is nearly flawless. It can virtually eliminate your "Font Operator" during newscast presentation. There's a ripple effect from having the entire character generator system automated … the producers and directors don't have to focus on making sure the fonts are turned in and entered. That means they can focus less on the mechanical issues of producing a show and focus more on the creative and stylistic issues. It makes for a better-produced show, which means better ratings.

When it comes to Close Captioning, Comprompter is about the only one concerned about synchronizing the captioned text to the video. Packages and Sot's are automatically synced during on-air playback by ENR – without anyone pressing any buttons or baby-sitting the captioned output. And ENR clears the captioning so it does not cover your clients commercials.

Elections are also news.

Comprompter’ VoteMaster election software can make your election night a dream come true. VoteMaster can give you results faster than anyone else in the market, calculate the percentages all around, and instantly and automatically create air-ready CG ‘s … whether in Lower Thirds squeezed over network video, or in Full-Page format for fully anchored cut-ins.

A newsroom system is only as good as the people behind it.

Comprompter has some news directors who have been using an ENR newsroom system almost as long as the company has been in business. They choose it because it’s fast, easy to use and reliable. And, as everyone knows, sooner or later you need instant help. That’s where good people come in. The majority of the Comprompter support staff has been with the company for 12 – 18 years … and that means stability!

Service only counts if you can get it when you need it.

Comprompter has a client in Duluth, Minnesota that had a fire rip through their station late one Sunday night, leaving little more than a couple of sets of field gear, a temporary studio at the transmitter, and two Comprompter computers loaded with ENR. The system was flexible enough to allow them to build the next day’s newscasts.

Comprompter got the SOS call about ten o'clock, the morning after the fire and by noon the next day had built a full TURNKEY system, which they promised to install the next day!

On Tuesday, less than 36 hours after the fire, Comprompter staff was on-site setting up a complete replacement newsroom computer system. The Comprompter team worked out a thousand potentially crippling details, getting the system up and running with prompter and incoming wires in time for the news staff to put together newscasts for that day’s 5 & 6-pm. While this is a very atypical event, this is a typical Comprompter reaction, based on the philosophy that we are members of the same team and we are in the news business.

Immediate and courteous support is always available 24 hours a day. Friendly, knowledgeable service that doesn’t make your news people feel embarrassed or put down is a Comprompter specialty. Comprompter has a history of being a small company with a big heart.

Ralph King President