The fastest year ever as a media operator

As 2020 is coming to an end it’s a good time to recall all the learnings and experiences gathered this year. Our multi-talented media operator Varpu Knuuttila has summed up her and her few colleagues story as a first-year Media Tailor employee. In her own words – it did roll past flying including tons of new things to adapt to, a great team of co-workers, and some changes as well. In case you didn’t know what does a media operator does, after this story you will. And let me tell – it’s something very exciting!

We keep you watching

When you watch TV at home, it rarely crosses your mind that the program flow is controlled by someone – a media operator. Being discreet is a good thing because when our work is invisible, everything runs smoothly. Basically, Media Tailor takes care of monitoring Nelonen’s linear tv channels.

We as operators keep an eye on the automatized play-out system that runs the list of programs and ads. We also order and receive all the tv material and keep in contact with the sales for example. We are the bottleneck that gathers all the needed material together for the channel’s stream and drives it visible to thousands of viewers.

Focusing on multitasking

When we started at Media Tailor we were surprised by the wide scale of the work environments; the number of different applications for daily data management, all those monitors and computers, long lists of production companies, and endless programs. There was a lot to remember but luckily we had enough time and sticky notes for the introduction. Our friendly colleagues were always ready to share all their useful tips as well.

After going through the theory and getting familiar with the technique, we found out that the best way to learn this job is by performing yourself and repeating. Soon all those bits and pieces became daily routines. This way we got into the working mode quickly, although there certainly is still a lot to learn in this field. But when you learn something new every day, it both increases hunger and rewards.

Routines with some spices

Operators work in shifts and follow a daily routine, which keeps the work smooth between shifts. The early mornings and long evenings in the broadcast are varied by shorter hours in material service. In both shifts one must stay constantly alert; when something unexpected happens, we are ready to react.

A busy day consists of problem-solving on the run and quick arrangements for programs, commercials, or subtitles. So the salt of the work is variety. Inside the routines, there are many moving parts that keep the work itself quite diverse. In addition, live shows always create a special feeling in the broadcast unit. It requires specific attention from the operator as we manage the time together with the live production site.

Show must go on and on

The media world lives in constant change, and so does Media Tailor. There is always something interesting going on. Operative work plays a huge part in Media Tailor’s service portfolio. But there’s also another super team working with our company’s own product – a smart media management platform called Media Pocket, which is made to serve not only large media houses but every organization out there that handles media files daily.

The biggest change during the year was of course the coronavirus outbreak last spring. Remote work changed the dynamics of the work community, except for the broadcast shift, someone still needed to stay in the unit. Some of the tv-shows, productions, and live broadcasts got canceled. Emailing back and forth with international liaisons let us know that we were indeed all in the same boat, worldwide. On the other hand, people started to use more streaming services and the amount of video-on-demand material increased. With persistent teamwork, we managed to tackle the challenges during the spring, as the show must go on.

Always in progress

Because we are quite a small group altogether, everyone has the opportunity to influence the company’s affairs, for example in daily meetings as well as in inquiries. Recreational days are not forgotten either, pretty often there are bigger or smaller cozy happenings like coffee tasting or curling! In general, opinions are welcomed and the atmosphere is generally relaxed and communicative. 

We are also encouraged to show initiative and ideation; employee’s own development also develops the company. As the HR manager once instructed: keep one foot in the comfort zone but the other outside.

Ready for more

The job of an operator is quite unique.

It has been great working as a part of a talented team and behind the scenes crew of tv airing. We are used to the whole system now and next year we will have at least twice the experience again.

Autumn brought back the longed-for live broadcasts, through our hands to the tv viewers at home. We also moved our office to Luova Talo. What a fresh start to the second year, I can’t wait to see what else inspiring is ahead of us!

This blog post was designed and written by our media operator, Varpu in co-operation with Henri and Anssi.

Read more about our magnificent team:

Varpu Knuuttila

Media Operator

Anssi Hurskainen

Media Operator

Henri Mitikka

Media Operator

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