StreamClick Powers Milwaukee Election Night Coverage

by | Apr 19, 2022 | Best Practices, Broadcaster Success, Megaphone Updates, StreamClick, StreamClick Events | 0 comments

Watch the complete FOX6 election night coverage – produced entirely using StreamClick.

A hotly contested mayoral race.

A local news station wanting to cover every second of it.

A list of production challenges that need to be solved in short order.

A perfect case study of why StreamClick is the ideal remote production tool for broadcasters!

Recently, Milwaukee held a special mayoral election to determine who would lead the city for the next term.

It’s an important local story for the city, and FOX 6 Milwaukee WITI – a long-time Megaphone TV subscriber.

StreamClick: Cloud Production Studio

FOX6 wanted to ensure that their viewers and Milwaukee’s citizens received the coverage they needed to understand the impact of this vote.

Because the election results and coverage were going to happen during prime time, it was impossible to pre-empt regular programming.

The only way to get the news out to people was online.

But with limited tools at their disposal, how does a local station like FOX6 broadcast a multi-location story live to viewers?

We caught up with Kale Zimny, FOX6’s Chief Photographer after the broadcast to get his opinions on how they pulled it off.

(Spoiler alert: they used StreamClick!)

The Challenge: Election Coverage without a Control Room

Election night in Milwaukee at FOX6 – broadcast using StreamClick

FOX6 is an institution in Milwaukee. It’s a station known for being close to its viewers and to the city’s citizens.

But like many other local stations, they are constantly challenged to deliver news that matters with ever-shrinking budgets and resources.

“Something like an election, we want to have a place for people to turn to – they can come in and interact with people they see on tv and get up-to-date information,” said Zimny.

Because they could not broadcast over the air during primetime, FOX6 decided that the best way to cover this election was online.

The challenge this caused was that – outside of set broadcast times – the news team at FOX6 would not have access to the full suite of tools and technology in their control room.

Initially, this meant a much more limited vision of election coverage.

“We were going to do a standard broadcast. We would have a camera – maybe two cameras – and I was going to have a laptop hooked into a little mini-switcher so as the anchors were talking we would be able to bring up graphics or anything we wanted to show.”

“We weren’t planning on bringing on any reporters live from the field,” said Zimny. “Because without having our control room, we don’t have that set up to do a remote broadcast. It wasn’t even something on my radar until we found out about StreamClick.”

From demo to broadcast in just four days

StreamClick enabled FOX6 to deploy reporters live on location – without needing a control room to do so!

“One of our assistant news directors told me that FOX6 subscribes to Megaphone, and he said there’s this part of it called StreamClick. We started looking at it – I think it was the Friday before the election,” said Zimny.

StreamClick is Megaphone TV’s turnkey remote interview and cloud control room solution for broadcast professionals looking to stream content on-air or online.

It allows stations to quickly produce multi-location and multi-guest segments from a browser without any additional hardware.

Anyone can live stream broadcast-quality video to any RTMP feed, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Instagram, or any other compatible platform in just a few clicks.

Seeing the StreamClick demo completely changed how FOX6 envisioned covering election night.

“Once I saw that there’s a way we can bring our field crews for a live talkback so easily, I was really, really excited to start working with it.”

As a result, FOX6 turned its election coverage on its head.

Zimny now could have reporters live on-scene using StreamClick remote interview technology.

“Once I saw that it was easy to send [a reporter] a link and they can pop up in your broadcasts, it made things really easy,” said Zimny. “It gives us more dynamic coverage than just two people talking over graphics and video.”

Plus, StreamClick provided FOX6 with an easy way for them to run b-roll from within the platform and display social posts.

B-roll, hosts, and a reporter in the field – all using StreamClick

Social Updates and UGC from Viewers are easy with StreamClick

“It’s something we do every day in our newscast, but it’s not something you can do easily without thousands of dollars of studio equipment,” said Zimny.

“StreamClick was able to do all of that from my laptop.”

StreamClick was able to do something else that helped shape their election coverage: full audience participation and interactivity.

StreamClick gave FOX6 the ability to do live, real-time polling of their viewers – complete with QR codes

Throughout the stream, viewers were able to participate in polls and voice their opinions on the race and issues that mattered to them.

“We regularly use Megaphone TV for the poll feature on our over-the-air broadcast. We wanted to utilize that in our online broadcasts. StreamClick made it simple just to set up a poll and use a QR code to make it easy for people to go on and vote.”

The result? An amazing election night in Milwaukee

Kale Zimny (bottom right) using StreamClick to produce the entire broadcast from his laptop

While the election results were not a surprise – Cavalier Johnson won handily – the experience of using StreamClick was transformative for FOX6.

In just a few short days – and with just a few simple clicks – they used StreamClick to produce a multi-location, interactive election coverage broadcast to YouTube and Facebook.

“We’ve never done anything like this. StreamClick made it look like an over-the-air broadcast. It made it look perfect, almost as if we put in a lot of work, but StreamClick just put everything in one interface,” says Zimny.

The simplicity and power of StreamClick will change how stations like FOX6 produce, plan, and deploy live streams.

“Our investigative unit has [an audio] podcast. There’s been talk now that we want to set up a podcast studio, and we will hope to use StreamClick to do it like a video podcast rather than just an audio one,” remarked Zimny.

But, with national elections just a few months away, does FOX6 have any plans to integrate StreamClick into more demanding, big stakes coverage?

“Absolutely. We’ll definitely be using it for November. This whole broadcast was put together with StreamClick in just a few days. I can’t imagine what we’ll be able to do with months of prep for the November elections.”

At Megaphone TV, we know that FOX6 will not be the only broadcaster using StreamClick come November. Stations all over America are adopting StreamClick for their critical news coverage.

One thing is for sure: it is going to be an exciting election year for StreamClick.