FOX News Channel's Indecisive Graphics Department

Discussion in 'US Cable News' started by Big Country News, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Big Country News

    Big Country News The Spirit of Texas

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    Over the past few years, FOX News Channel has literally had hundreds of graphical changes.

    Even this morning, I saw two different 'Alert' lower thirds - One during 'Happening Now' and another During 'FOX & Friends First.'

    Happening Now:
    [​IMG]

    The previous 'Alert' lower thirds were atrocious, so this is an improvement. Either way, FOX News also brought back their lower third design from a few years ago for 'America's News HQ' (I loved these) and they're not even used regularly.

    ANHQ:
    [​IMG]

    Let's not even mention the ever-changing ticker. I think a lot of the graphics are actually good, but some are very...bad.

    Opinions?
     
  2. MidwestTV

    MidwestTV News Director

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    I've always thought Fox News has had horrendous graphics that were incredibly cluttered and claustrophibc, ESPECIALLY the lower thirds. They never seem to be able to design anything simple and uncomplicated, like what msnbc and CNN has. I've also have never been a fan of the scrolling "Alert" graphic that takes up a fourth of the lower third. 1) it's distracting 2) it's too big and 3) why can't it just go on top in a simple bar? If you're going to have it down there like that, do something similar to what msnbc does.
     
  3. cbs2newengland

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    I know FNC isn't the favorite on this board, but I do not like the second screengrab. I've never liked Avant Garde type from the 80s mixed with 45° angle graphics from the 90s.

    It's not a matter of clutter, it was how it was executed. FNC had some really nice graphics 10 years ago, you can look it up. But after 2006, they went downhill. They seem to not understand how to use Vizrt or something like that as a CG because ever since 2009 (when they I think fully went away from the Deko) its just been an eyesore!

    The early 2000s was I think the best for lower third design, it didn't get rammed in your face, and the Franklin Gothic-like type just had some sexy appeal. In fact I wished they took some of those elements and modernize it for today.
     
  4. rkolsen

    rkolsen A Member of Sinclair Broadcast Group

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    If I recall correctly Fox News went HD in 2008 but had a side bar similar to CNBC HD+ but then in 2009 every studio and control room was upgraded to HD. I'm guessing some of the graphics were still on the old system but once every control room was updated they switched the system.

    I remember hearing some one say that graphic artists are like regular people that when they get a new toy or computer they want to play with it and push the system to its max capabilities even if the end product looks like crap or gimmicky. Remember back in the 2008 elections the networks really used virtual reality studios for the first time and CNN did a hologram? That to me would be the networks playing with their new toys. But then once the novelty wore off during the 2010,2012 and 2014 virtual studios went by the wayside and they started doing augmented reality where graphics popped up in their regular studios. That is when the designers and networks realized that the graphics should add something to the story as opposed to having a virtual House of Representatives floor pop up out of no where.
     
  5. Weeters

    Weeters Director of Operations
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    FOX News is running on a very outdated version of Viz. I remember the version number was mentioned in a job posting I was shown once.

    Whatever their problem, it's pretty clear Management is perfectly fine with it. Someone has made the decision that they are going to have the flashiest, ugliest graphics in the world and that when something starts getting remotely stale, they're going to change it.

    I can see some management-type person calling up the graphics department demanding the "Alert" graphic be made "more alert-ier" and that it needs to be redder and the word "Alert" needs to be bigger. And make it spin. And flash.

    CNN dropped the gimmicks when they realized there was far too much effort being put into them when nobody watching cared.
     
  6. cbs2newengland

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    I think FNC went to a gradual HD. Some programs were in HD circa 2008, some were not. I know Red Eye had the sidebar similar to FBN's HD feed. I think they did the full switch in 2009, then decided to go full HD for everyone later that year. FBN however, gets the full credit for being the first business network from top to bottom HD, which paved the way FNC to go to HD too.
     
  7. cbs2newengland

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    That's pitiful if FNC is using a "very outdated version of Viz." How much would you be willing to bet Fox, FS1, Fox Sports are using a supported version of Viz? Is Roger Ailes that frugal in his budget? One poster said about a year ago that FNC was still using CS3.

    I know Viz runs differently than say the Chyron and Deko, but are these atrocious graphics just a sign that maybe people aren't fully skilled in the Viz or they hire really bad graphic artists or focusing more on the DB coders skills?

    As a viewer, I can't tell the difference, but if you want to be taken seriously, try to use the graphics in a better way using modern software.
     
  8. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Managing Editor

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    Meanwhile, Fox Business manages to look very sharp. They have a consistent and organized design.
     
  9. cbs2newengland

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    The same can't be said for CNBC. Probably because FBN is "anti-CNBC" which for graphics is a good thing. They pulled FNC's in-your-effin-face approach for years to actually loose more viewers as the markets have gone up. Striking out Adobe licenses to CNBC's budget would happen when cows can fly to the moon. They'll still be high strung and no one will watch it. Since being @ EC, they've gone through I think 5 graphics changes, and FBN has had 2, modified in 2010, changed in 2012, and a modification last week or two ago in their 7 year history.
     
  10. cbs2newengland

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    And FNC's graphics changes in a 10 year period is totaled of CNBC and FBN combined. They need to find talent, I don't understand how they can't find talented people to create sexy but substantial news graphics for cable news.
     
  11. MikePulse

    MikePulse AM Anchor

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    Maybe their mentality is, as long as we, the gullible fools, swallow it all up, they could have graphics hand drawn by second graders, and people would still tune in.

    In the opinion of this news junkie, however, for them to get a radical change in news graphics, they would have to get a radical change in how they approach the news. More straight news, less fear mongering, get rid of the slants, get rid of the condescending attitudes. But that would also mean getting rid of Bill O, Kelly, Hasselback, and Hannity. And we know they would rather be eaten by dingoes 10 times over than do that.
     
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  12. kjohnson

    kjohnson Managing Editor

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    Well, graphics drawn by second graders would be a step up, though. FNC is too busy.
     
  13. cbs2newengland

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    No, the radical change ought to be in the daytime. Primetime, people know what they are getting. IMO Hasselbeck isn't as ditzy or as overly compassionate/emotiional about little people lossing their homes or live as Gretchen Carlson, Martha McCallum or Kimberly Gulfolyle. The Fox News Live days, or the newswheel or personality focused (The Live Desk, ED Hill's program I'm forgetting, maybe Mrs. Roger Goodell may have to return to FNC in some capicity, etc) would be a nice step.

    FBN is unwatchable for me when they axed the wheel block (11-3) You want to talk about getting rid of Stuart Varney, or worse Deidre Boulton, she more condescending, and verbally assaults peoples IQ on the air (see her interview with Kerri Walsh a couple Fridays ago), I'd feel awkward. She had fine career at Bloomberg, she shouldn't ever been welcomed to FBN,

    *end of a Channel 2 Editorial*
     
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  14. alex979

    alex979 Primary Anchor

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    Lately I've been noticing more changes to FNC's graphics. They're starting to extend the L3's text all the way across the screen and put the show title above the text. I could only find this new graphic style on a few shows, and I'm not sure if I like it too much. But, hey, could they be moving towards something more consistent?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Eyewitness News-man

    Eyewitness News-man N.W.A: News-man With Attitude.

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    Well, something new has come...and I think it's a good thing.
    I like this. It looks cleaner than the last package and they don't smash everything together with layers of effects.
    And apparently, consistency is key, and the key is finally unlocking the road to overall better graphics.

    And that's all I have for that. This package is way better, but I wouldn't start a celebration just yet...
     
  16. Charles

    Charles Recovering Overnight Producer

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    Yeah, my guess is that in a few weeks' time, these will either be tinkered with or completely replaced. It is stunning how often they make changes to their graphics.
     
  17. Darius22

    Darius22 Primary Anchor

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    not to mention they have always kept FOX News Channel and Fox Business channel's graphics at a consistent 60FPS. unlike CNN's 30FPS graphic openers.
     
  18. rkolsen

    rkolsen A Member of Sinclair Broadcast Group

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    I'm curious how can you tell that CNN's are 30FPS?
     
  19. Darius22

    Darius22 Primary Anchor

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    it happens whenever the situation room is on or whenever there's breaking news.
     
  20. alex979

    alex979 Primary Anchor

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    This is a bump, but...
    Election season is really ramping up now, and FNC seems as inconsistent as ever with their lower thirds.

    Exhibit 1: Not a fan of this style at all.


    Exhibit 2: Ewwwww... no, just no.
    [​IMG]
    (via https://twitter.com/angelamcglowan/)

    Exhibit 3: Now, this has got potential. Actually, these L3s might be the best I've seen from them. Nice, compact, and very clean for FNC.


    If they would just get behind this design (and maybe just extend the bar all the way across the screen, behind the bug), they'd be good.
     
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