Harrisburg’s WSIL Replaces Paper Scripts with iPads

By Merrill Knox 

WSIL — the ABC affiliate serving southern Illinois and southeastern Missouri — has replaced paper copies of scripts with iPads.

Getting rid of physical scripts will save the station an estimated $4,000 a year in paper costs, according to the WSIL website. Paper scripts — kept on hand in case of a teleprompter failure — are printed for each anchor and can generate as many as 100 pages for a half-hour newscast.

“After more than 20 years of flipping script paper, it took some getting used to,” 5 p.m. anchor Mark Kiesling said. “But I was sold after the first newscast.”

Anchors download scripts onto their iPads as a pdf file before the show starts. If news breaks during the broadcast and the copy needs to be changed, scripts can either be reloaded on the iPad during a commercial break or, in the case that they are needed immediately, be re-printed on paper.

Other stations are also incorporating the popular Apple product into their news production. WFXL, the Fox affiliate in Albany, GA, made the switch from paper scripts in April, and Mobile’s CBS affiliate WKRG found out how the iPad stacked up to a traditional news camera in March.