How a former ticket collector created Brazil’s largest broadcast technology development group

From a “one-man startup” to a multinational company! This is the story of SNews.

A man with no heirdom, graduation or contacts in his area. A man with nothing but his will to change his life and create his own company, that is how Dino Maia entered a newsstand in 1984. The idea was to learn how to program. That’s it!

Back then, there was no internet, programming courses or anything alike. It was in a newsstand that he found a “Basic” course (programming language). Reading primers and listening to cassette tapes he learned it all by himself.

Dino conducted tests in a computer owned by a broadcast company in which he worked. The first time he was caught using that computer, he was patronized. However, since no one else in the company would dare use the machine, the owner of the company agreed to let him put it to a use.

In a month, he had created a system with all customer’s names and earned his boss’s trust for good. The entrepreneur used to say to everyone: “Wow! My company is computerized”. With that, Dino started to dedicate himself even more as a self-learner, gaining knowledge and skills through correspondence-based courses.

Dino Maia, SNEWS president in SET Expo 2019, São Paulo

The right person at the right time

In 1996, Telebrasília company chose Paracatú, the city where Dino lived, as the place to start the first internet connection tests in Brazil. He was one of the first people to ever use the technology in the country and he took this opportunity to create a webpage with his name, telephone and services provided.

With that webpage, he was reached-out to by one of Radiobrás directors – a Brazilian Communications Company based in Brasília, which offered him a position at the company. The idea was for him to create a system which would automatize the “Voz do Brazil” program, which was produced in a typing machine.

There, he learned one of the main problems of those who work with technology – the user’s resistance to change. The journalists hated the idea of deviating from their work methods and it took the Journalist-chief to threat throwing away the company’s typing machines through the window for them to accept such change.

With a lot of patience and convincing, he not only transformed radio companies, but also national TV companies, creating a teleprompter system for broadcast companies. With the success achieved by the technology he created, Dino’s wish to expand his area of expertise and create his own company grew.

The “A-ha!” Moment

This is how SNews was created in 1997. Its main product was the Telenews, a journalistic system created to assist broadcast companies control the news flow from the moment of the suggestion of an agenda came up to its exhibition.

Back then, Dino and his wife, journalist and radio presenter América Melo did a bit of everything. He was the developer, seller and customer support of the company. She worked in the administration. The early days of the company were not easy, both had to manage more than one job in order to consolidate the company.

However, after 4 years, SNews was already present nation-wide. And it had a large differential to offer. While most developers used to accept a position in the broadcast companies or sold their own operational system, Dino came up with another business model.

Since his first client, instead of selling the software he created, he rented it. This practice is now known as Software as a Service (SaaS). However, back then, he was thought to be naïve for preferring half a minimum wage per month over twenty thousand reais in his hand. His risk paid off and indicated the beginning of a very profitable business. A few clients later, he was earning substantially more than if he had only sold his solution instead of renting it.

The innovation culture in the company’s DNA

This was but one of many innovative aspects that were born and integrate the company’s DNA. Just like the company’s business model, all SNews organizational culture was molded in vanguard criteria. One of the examples is the company’s human resources management.

The first employee of the company is a model that illustrates the company’s ideas very well. Eliezer Oliveira started in SNews as a developer, but the company’s practice to care about its personnel and encourage their professional growth made him become an associate of one the company’s partners.

Speaking of which, diversifying business is also one of the pillars of the company’s business model. In 25 years, SNews invested in spreading its efforts having the whole market in mind in order to seek solutions to problems that needed them.

That is how Playout Neoexpress, Character Generator GCNEWS, and even the Telenews Journalistic System came to be – the latter evolved to today’s version, named Arion and received various integrations.

Arion Journalistic System composing a switchboard in RPC, afilliated company of TV Globo in Paraná state

The modernization and internationalization processes

Following the company’s fundaments, in 2012, the owners started a series of visits to the United States wishing to expand their business. In that year, their goal was to plan and execute the creation of radio and television broadcast companies’ studios. The group assembled broadcast studios in almost all U.S. states.

When business started to consolidate abroad, Dino himself predicted the need to let new talents in his company to lead the business. In 2018, he passed on the SNews CEO position to Rodrigo Brasiel.

With such change, the goal was to maintain SNews as the largest broadcast software developer of Latin America while also investing in innovation and creating new products and services.

Seeking to maintain the innovative mind-set of the company, one of the first decisions after this change was to abandon one of the businesses it practiced, which was the sales of hardware. The idea was to focus the company’s team and energy in the area which it excelled, which is the development of software.

That is how great achievements were possible, such as the integration of Rede Amazônica’s apparel into a cloud solution, building a single system for Jovem Pan’s radio and TV, centralization of all TV production of TV Verdes Mares and implementing SNews systems in other continents.

Since then, the company consolidated itself as the largest one in the area of broadcast solutions development in Brazil and has been in the spotlight in national and international conventions.

Rodrigo Brasiel, SNews CEO during NAB Show 2019 in Las Vegas

Expansion to new markets

For the next 25 years, all company’s efforts are dedicated to sustain its innovation and expansion. In terms of innovation, one of the company’s great bets is the creation of start-up studios, which is the incubation of startups by large companies with the assistance of external talents.

In the group, two startups emerged, such as Glaz.Ai and, recently, SOUV. The latter was inaugurated in Las Vegas during NAB Show and it is in tests phase with large market players.

As for the expansion, SNews has never been more present in international conventions and fairs than now. Rodrigo had already consolidated the company in Latin America and accepted the challenge to reach new markets around the globe, especially in Asia and Europe.

In order to meet such goal, Rodrigo articulated methods to sell SNews products with new partners abroad. Another strategy to pursue its expansion is the ongoing study in order to open a branch in Europe in the next year. The result of such investments in innovation, customer service and in the growth of its personnel clearly paid off. With 25 years of consolidated history in the Brazilian market, SNews now turns its eyes to new horizons abroad, ready to write new chapters of its history.


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