WPTY/WLMT Memphis Announces Complete Station Overhaul

Discussion in 'Sets & Studios' started by Trevor, May 2, 2013.

  1. Trevor

    Trevor
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    On the 5:00 PM news, WPTY/WLMT ABC24/CW30 Memphis (owned by Nexstar) officially confirmed speculation that a new set is soon on the way. Joy Lambert closed the package with "reporting in Northeast Memphis...". The studio is being put together by Belz Enterprises, a local contractor best known for renovating The Peabody Hotel downtown.

    "A new state of the art facility and a full high definition studio are coming soon"

    "...most contemporary and technologically advanced studio in the market..."

    "We're just weeks away from our big launch..."

    "...everything will be revealed in June..."

    "enhanced weather forecasting technology..."

    They also provided us with a limited view and some blurred shots of the new set in the package, I've attached some screenshots below. In the screenshot below with Lauren Raymer at the new weather center, you can see a WSI mousepad on the desk, so I guess that's what they made the switch to. Anything better than that God-awful SD pillarboxed radar from the early 2000s that they are currently using.

    UPDATE - May 22: Over the last month or so, WPTY/WLMT has announced many other changes. First off, the new call sign of WATN-TV has been reserved by Nexstar, in addition to a domain name of www.midsouthlocal.com. A new logo and graphics package will also be on the way, all to debut June 1st.
     

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  2. TennTV1983

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    Well, that makes it official. The Twin Stations (and WJKT) are on the move .... eastward. June cannot get here soon enough.

    I wonder what will become of 2701 Union once they finish moving out of there?
     
  3. Jterry

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    Mentioned this in the other thread (suppose future discussion should be here now that it's official) but it looked fantastic and Nexstar gets full props for this effort. A few shots from the control room showed a bit of the new graphics package as well (looked liked a far better/enhanced concept of what they have now).

    Unsure how full on the rebranding is going to be. New logo/newscast title/slogan? Not 100% necessary, but will be interested to see how far they go.

    Looks like the full KLRT set is being incorporated which is great, with I'm sure some duratran and other changes where needed to take out the Little Rock backdrop and Fox 16 references.

    Here's the link to the time lapse on the construction of the newsroom area. The new building is not far I-40 and Whitten Road for those familiar with the area, on the east/northeast section of the city.

    http://www.abc24.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoid=4041681
     
  4. TennTV1983

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  5. Trevor

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    You can also see in the wide shot with the man and woman standing in the control room, some snazzy-looking new graphics are on the monitor. Like JTMEM mentioned in the other thread, props to Nexstar. WMC and WREG better watch their backs...(a phrase I thought I would never hear myself saying).
     
  6. Jterry

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    Looking at the blurred wide shot of the set, it looks like they may be following KLRT in having the primary backdrop behind the anchor desk be a window into the newsroom. KLRT could move in a duratran of the Little Rock skyline if they wanted to as well so that may be an option. I think KLRT actually ended up preferring that. Obviously not 100% sure since the shot is blurred, but just a guess.

    As far as the weather equipment, I know WPTY still runs that live Baron radar, even though the software is well outdated now. Not sure if they will dump that entirely and just go with the WSI stuff which can do almost as well these days. They had been using Weather Central products in recent years, but since they've merged in the last year with WSI (their major competitor) there's not much choice now in that field.

    WPTY ran a slightly modified version of the story for 6. A few new shots/details but nothing major to add here.
     
  7. AaronQ

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    And WHBQ need to watch their backs as well
     
  8. Jterry

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    WPTY needs to run a very aggressive campaign to attract people once they relaunch. For as cheap as they went in the 02-03 rebrand that's something they did that worked for a few years because it got people to pay attention. If they could regrab some attention while blowing them away with a fantastic look, it could go even better.

    The Memphis market is a little in flux these days. WMC is no longer the powerhouse it once was. WREG leads all newscasts now but not by much and WHBQ hasn't done anything lately to try and make a big surge in numbers. WPTY has an opening they can try and take advantage of.
     
  9. TennTV1983

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    Feels like December 1995 all over again with the move to new digs being done from scratch (except for the forementioned set coming from KLRT).

    I still remember the first time WPTY started doing news:
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40bUz7lrEx8[/video]

    This will be interesting to see if the Twin Stations (WPTY/WLMT) can pose a serious threat to the likes of WREG, WMC, and WHBQ ratings-wise (maybe not to WREG, but WMC might find themselves in third place before long).
     
  10. Jterry

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    You know watching today I couldn't help but think of the parallels to that video, and I still remember watching that first night of news on WPTY too. I remain pleasantly shocked that Nexstar is going to this level that I would not have imagined even when I was so cautiously optimistic after hearing they were buying the twin stations last year. I know now WPTY may well have the best looking product in the market next month (who would have imagined that!), but I truly hope they can make some real headway with average viewers too and increase those numbers.

    WMC in particular has to be worried as they continue to fall behind, although they finally upgraded their chopper to full HD last week, so there's something new there at least. I honestly think Joe Birch, Dave Brown and Jarvis Greer are the only things keeping WMC afloat these days with many people and that can't go on forever.
     
  11. Raymie

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    The greatest investment Nexstar ever made in a single station cluster.

    *stands and applauds*
     
  12. Working4You

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    This looks Amazing! I am quite happy for them. New Station, Studio, Set, News Music, Graphics as it looks like, and "hopefully" logo as well! Gah... they are going to look good. Watch out 3, 5, and 13. 24/30 will soon be nothing to laugh at anymore. Good for Nexstar for Caring about their TV Stations and investing quite a bit of money. Hats off to them. :)
     
  13. Jterry

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    This will probably come as no surprise but was told this evening that WPTY hopes and plans to relaunch around or just before the beginning of the NBA finals, which will of course bring increased viewership to ABC and thus WPTY. You can bet they are hoping the Grizzlies can somehow make it that far and they'd have a best-case scenario to get new viewers.
     
  14. hathawaynson2

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    I think WPTY will be very successful enough to the point of being #1 in all of its newscasts within the Jackson market and I personally want to thank Nexstar Broadcasting Group for making it happen. I am watching the 1995 news open and I personally think that the WPTY has a chance to turn things around even though the first newscast is 20+ years old.
     
  15. Jterry

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    Official press release just issued which mentions they will be "operational and fully-staffed on June 1".

    Also noticed this line: "Furthermore, the new Memphis facility will launch a unique
    news content center that features innovative equipment that allows the stations’ to transcend the traditional
    news presentation by providing local viewing audiences unique access to the news gathering and technical
    process." Not sure exactly what that will mean but could be interesting. Maybe some sort of i-report like thing?

    Full release here... http://www.abc24.com/media/lib/10/4/b/6/4b63ab4e-6a4d-47fa-be4b-dda4c75d0fb7/NXST_Memphis_New_Facility_FINAL_5_3_13.pdf
     
  16. hathawaynson2

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    I'm assuming that the set (post-construction) is not going to look like KODE-TV with the fake background material in the back to make it look like a busy control center. I dislike that particular set that KODE-TV has when they could make it look real instead of a background.

    It's an frustration between what is an real control room background and a fake control room background. I know that KMBC-TV has a real control room behind them so you can see what's going on behind the scenes.
     
  17. Jterry

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    I was mentioning several posts above but I'm feeling more confident that they're modeling it like KLRT with the newsroom directly behind the set, which will be the primary shot behind the anchor desk (through a window). WTVT of course has had that look for years too. Even looking at pictures at KLRT's (now former) newsroom there are similarities in how WPTY's is being built.

    Here's a screencap of KLRT via a YouTube video
    [​IMG]

    WPTY's from its construction timelapse
    [​IMG]

    Clear parallels in the design. The main difference probably is that KLRT had various fixtures hanging from the ceiling, which you can't see in that screencap and don't look feasible in WPTY's construction. Still speculating so we'll see...
     
  18. Working4You

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    I found this pretty good link on YouTube with a lot of good shots of KLRT future WPTY/WLMT new set. Hopefully they do a window to the newsroom and not leave a big open hole to the newsroom like Fox 16. The wating game begins.... few weeks away till w know for sure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF0LPTUAoF0
     
  19. d247

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    Looks alot like KOKI's set minus the newsroom view.
     
  20. Jterry

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    Yeah, KOKI got a very similar set.

    I had forgotten KLRT actually didn't have a true window separating the set from the newsroom. If WPTY/WLMT indeed goes with this look they may not either. It's an interesting effect though there's not really a huge difference you see from the on-air perspective.
     

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