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Everything posted by Weeters

  1. A recent statement, made on YouTube by Studio31 Media Archive, misrepresents a situation that developed on Sunday November 20th due to a breakdown in communication from myself to the TVNewsTalk staff. During the evening of Thursday November 17th, I was informed by several concerned community members that the operator of the Studio31 Media Archive account, TVNewsTalk user "sanewsguy", had posted (or "doxxed") the professional LinkedIn of another member of The News Center Discord. This took place on a third-party Discord server, unaffiliated with this site or The News Center. At that time, I brought it to the attention of both TVNewsTalk staff and the staff of The News Center. Given that this had taken place outside of either platform, no action was taken and the staff of both platforms elected to continue to monitor the situation. Three days later, on Sunday November 20th, discussion of this matter was renewed by members of our Forum Staff, without my presence. One member of Staff elected to issue a ban to sanewsguy's TVNewsTalk account for Privacy Violations. This was done without my authorization, as I had failed to explicitly communicate that I did not wish for him to be banned. My reasoning to not issue a ban was to monitor the situation and see if additional people were "doxxed". None were. It was later communicated to me that sanewsguy had apologized for posting the link, however the link was not deleted until after the ban was issued. Upon the issuing of the ban on the Forum, our integration plugin kicked sanewsguy's Discord account from The News Center. This function of the plugin was set up by design, to make sure anyone causing trouble on the forums was also removed from Discord. This is not made clear on the UI used by Forum Staff. The News Center Discord admin, @ChesapeakeTV, had also elected not to ban sanewsguy at that time, and rightfully objected to the integration kicking him. When I became aware of this, I immediately reversed the ban and attempted to reach out to sanewsguy over Discord to apologize and to inform him that the falsely-issued ban was removed. My message was responded to by "Clyde", Discord's system message bot, informing me that I was not able to message that Discord account. I had another user in the third-party Discord server relay the message on my behalf. I also sent it as a Direct Message on TVNewsTalk. The claims made in Studio31 Media Archives' YouTube statement, namely that he was "not given an opportunity to say goodbye", are completely and utterly false. There are currently no restrictions to his TVNewsTalk account, nor to his Discord account on The News Center. These claims are misleading to the community, and mischaracterize his own decision not to return to TVNewsTalk/The News Center into one where he was not given a choice, which is thoroughly incorrect. I accept 100% of the blame for the fact the ban was issued. I had failed to explicitly communicate my intentions not to ban him to our Staff. I cannot, however, stand idly by as my reputation, the reputation of this site, and the reputation of other community leaders gets dragged through the mud, by a manufactured narrative that attempts to further drive a wedge into our community, and conveniently omits the reprehensible action that led to this situation. -Weeters
  2. A short FAQ to clarify the new policy: What about content posted publicly to sites like Vimeo? It's been well documented that some stations use Vimeo to distribute materials for internal and external review. Discretion should be taken in sharing content from these sources, especially if the video has a name that is clearly not intended to be public ("WXXX_10PM_OPEN-DRAFT" would indicate that it may not have been intentionally made public, while "WXXX 2022 Graphics Reel" would.) If the video is public, it is fair game, though discouraged. Ultimately, if the original video is removed, unlisted, or made private, then it should no longer be shared on TVNT in any form. Please know that posting something that is later removed from the public eye would NOT result in a warning being issued to your account. What about content posted to sites like FTVLive or NewscastStudio? FTVLive and NewscastStudio are generally reputable industry news sources that are read by industry members. FTVLive frequently reports on "insider" information, however it is often information that deserves scrutiny, and provides an important view of the current state of the industry. NewscastStudio has contacts within networks and creative companies, therefore it would be highly unlikely for them to traffic in ill-gotten "leaks". These are both considered a "verifiable source". What about things like the NBC Studio 3B remodel, or WPIX/NewsNation studios? Aren't those "leaks"? These are publicly-available documents that were obtained through the New York City Department of Buildings. NBC and WPIX are in buildings with a Historic designation, thus any renovations that take place must pass a Historic Review process to make sure that they are not drastically altering the building's historical features. As the City puts it: "[Historical designation] means your building has special historical, cultural, or aesthetic value to the City of New York, state or nation, is an important part of the City's heritage and that [the Landmark Preservation Committee] must approve in advance any alteration, reconstruction, demolition, or new construction affecting the designated building." Both NBC and Nexstar are aware that their facilities have Historical designation, and that any plans they submit to the City will be made available for public review (this is explicitly specified on the FAQ for the process) as it is in the public's best interest to see how their cultural assets are being modified. In some cases, municipalities may release plan sets for new construction for public review as well. These would also be allowed as they are publicly available documents. What about content posted by the creator (Graphic design studios/composers/etc) themselves? This kind of material would be OK, though it falls along the same lines as the first question about sites like Vimeo. Is it OK to share information like networks giving stations a "stand by" for a Special Report? Or contingency plans for live coverage? Given the way this information is disseminated, I don't consider it "insider" information. It is sent out to every station, and in the case of Special Reports, often blasted out of a "Squawk Box" in the newsroom, something that could be heard by anyone, not just station employees, passing through. It is not OK to link to the sources of this information if it is on an "internal" website, regardless of how secure it is. Please feel free to leave any more questions below.
  3. Hello everyone, I am currently drafting up a statement regarding several ongoing issues involving our community. I am hoping to have this out early this coming week. There are several topics I wish to address, and I want to make sure I give myself the time to address them completely and fully. While I was working on that document, some new problems presented themselves. These issues require more immediate action, and that is what I am doing here. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, YOU MAY NOT SHARE CONTENT ON TVNEWSTALK.NET THAT HAS NOT BEEN POSTED IN A PUBLIC, OPEN MANNER. This includes but is not limited to materials with sources like “I got it from a friend” or “It was on a Vimeo account that took it down” or “it’s actually on a public unlocked hidden page on Company X’s network.” I don’t care where it came from, if you can’t link to it directly, from a verifiable source, it is not allowed. This includes YouTube re-uploads of this same content by third parties. This is a direct response to the situation revolving around the new CBS O&O Graphics package. It has come to my attention that some of these "leaks" may have been illegally obtained, and are being distributed by people who are desperately seeking attention from this community. I will not let TVNewsTalk play a part in their destructive behavior. The "leak culture" that has developed in our community is extremely toxic, and I cannot let it continue any further. There is nothing to be gained from leaking "insider" information, and violating the intellectual property rights of major corporations for a shot at "fame" in the TV News fan community is not worth the possible legal ramifications. We already have rules against "unverifiable content", and that is what I am directing our Moderators to enforce this policy under. As stated in the Guidelines, first offenses for violating these policies will result in a warning with no action taken against your account. Continued violations of these rules will result in further penalties as appropriate. In the coming weeks, I will be revising and reformatting our Site Guidelines to incorporate this and other policy changes. -Weeters
  4. I say "new" because apparently this thing has been in use for a few months (seems to have launched in June or July), but the differences between the main set in Studio A and this new set in Studio B are so minor that, if you're casually viewing, you have to look closely to notice. I can't find any good photos (nor much mention of when it debut) so I've had to scour social media for some good ones. Primary set in Studio A has a L-shaped desk in front of a curved video wall. https://www.instagram.com/p/CdI-gVVuDYW/ "New" WakeUp set in Studio B has a semi-circle desk in front of... a curved video wall (it's the same exact model wall)... https://www.instagram.com/p/ChH4P0BO2v5/ But unlike Studio A, there's some set pieces above the wall. This wall is where it becomes hard to notice what set they are using. Unless you can see the desk, the background is basically identical, because they use the same style imagery in the LED walls for both sets. Primary set in Studio A has a 3x3 monitor array with color-changing panels behind it. "New" WakeUp set in Studio B has a 3x3 monitor array with color changing panels behind it The set kept most of the same general layout as the former set, with the 3x3 wall replacing the chroma key wall and FOX O&O set 3 stacked monitors "triptych"-like standup area (the previous WakeUp set dated to the final years of their last go-around as an O&O, and was designed by the company that did the 2000's-era FOX O&O sets). Everything else seems to be in much the same place. Even the blue paneling along the upper edge of parts of the set is a design taken from the previous one. The new set definitely feels like a modern uplift of the previous set, even though the design of the previous set still felt modern at the end of its life. Speaking of, I wonder what happened to the old set's partial sister at the AARP...
  5. There's a water line visible on the big monitor cart. The big problem is going to be what's under the raised flooring in the technical areas seen when the person who recorded this walks out of the studio. The safe bet would be to replace everything that is down there, which is a huge undertaking. The studio is probably mostly a loss. Those poor camera pedestals. The good news is, you can see the upper level of the control room isn't dirty at all, meaning water never got more than a few inches off the raised floor. Most of their core equipment survived.
  6. To be fair, Nexstar recently agreed to an affiliation agreement with CBS that removed the affiliation from WJMN. I wouldn't expect this to be some kind of New World-esque mass re-alignment. Gray has clearly prepped for the possibility of losing CBS on WANF and only on WANF. Just because it might work in Atlanta right now doesn't mean they are prepared to do it elsewhere... at this time. Nobody expected CBS to re-launch news in Detroit, either. Once they have that spun up, they have a formula for doing it elsewhere. There's cost involved with building out a news operation, yes, but it's nothing like it was 10-20 years ago, which is definitely a driving factor in CBS choosing to re-launch news in Detroit. You no longer need a fleet of $250,000 a pop ENG trucks and $20,000 ENG cameras. You don't need a huge studio facility, especially considering what CBS is doing in Detroit with the whole "Neighborhood News" concept. WBXI didn't re-enter the CBS fold until 2019 though, so they haven't had a whole lot of time to use that as leverage.
  7. The only use CBS has had for WUPA since it came back into the O&O portfolio was using it as a negotiation tactic with WGCL. Every affiliation agreement negotiation until now had the threat of CBS saying that, despite their "best efforts" they weren't "able to come to a satisfactory agreement with WGCL" and will be moving CBS to WUPA. Yeah, Paramount is going to pull this "we have no plans to launch news on our standalone CW stations..." right now because saying otherwise would likely breach the affiliation agreement contracts they already have in those markets. CBSViacom/Paramount/etc has been more than transparent with their plans for local stations moving forward, mainly via all the PR they're putting out for Detroit. It should surprise no one if they finally pull the trigger in Atlanta and move CBS to WUPA (and, honestly, in Tampa and Seattle as well). Gray seems to be able to see the writing on the wall, and has prepared a new brand devoid of any CBS branding, one that may very well be set up to "borrow" a lot of CBS' new initiatives before CBS has the chance to set them up locally. The ball is in Gray's possession now. CBS can either continue the affiliation agreement with Gray calling the shots (so to speak) or they can try to launch their own newsroom that will be seen as "copying" what Atlanta News First already did. Unless Nexstar decides that minority stake in ownership means CBS doesn't need to pay affiliation fees, there is no incentive for CBS to continue to keep their CW stations affiliated with the network.
  8. The new LED wall is being installed.
  9. Going to make a guess here that the chroma key backdrop isn't permanent. It looks really cheap for a set this nice. Would put money on that space supposed to be containing an LED wall, and the particular one they bought is held up due to supply chain issues.
  10. After getting a chance to see this on-air, this is a huge downgrade from the way the set was originally lit. They're just blasting light all over the place and it is all very flat. Nothing "pops" anymore, and that makes it look extremely fake, like the talent is standing in front of a chroma key image of the set. It's also creating a lot of shadows on the talent and I'd be surprised if they weren't protesting this "upgrade" internally. Compare that to when the set was new... I get what they are trying to go for, the set being "brighter" and and "more welcoming" than the dark wood tones of the original design, but just blasting light everywhere cheapens the look overall. There used to be breakup patterns and other lighting tricks applied to the upper wooden portion of the set because it makes it look more visually interesting. Don't get me wrong, there was obviously a lot of work and attention that went into this, and it's certainly not bad, but something about it just feels off and feels "cheap".
  11. Back in the studio. Quite a few of the old fluorescent fixtures are still there, but with new diffusion on them, along with some new lights scattered around. (Also, look closely at the screens in those pics... Are they chroma keying in a fake monitor for the Storm Chaser live shot????)
  12. The news desk is sacred, and the main anchors should be chained to it. Having a "personal life" is not allowed.
  13. Word on the street is that the ongoing supply chain/chip shortage issue has impacted the ability to get new equipment.
  14. https://www.instagram.com/p/Chj8v2VuCqi/ Just new lights. Temporary set is the old "Everyday Health" set (a sponsored segment that used to air at the end of the midday news iirc) in Studio D. The lighting in Studio A was already mostly LED and fluorescent, but the fixtures date to the installation of that set back in 2012, so they're probably about due for replacement.
  15. They won't push NewsNation on the affiliates. Why? Because that's not the best use of NewsNation. As I've said a few times on the Discord, the best use for NewsNation to Nexstar is to dump existing affiliations on their owned stations in favor of reformatting NewsNation programming to run OTA. With NBC and ABC moving entertainment programming to their streaming services, it's just a matter of time until companies like Nexstar question why they're paying Comcast, Paramount, and Disney big $$$ for basically a bunch of national news programming and a big nightly ad for Disney+/Peacock/Paramount+, when Nexstar already produces national news programming. "Ohhhhh! But..." you say. Tell me, would anyone actually notice if Nexstar replaced the latest flop that CBS has on in the morning with Mornings in America? The CW fits into that plan by providing general entertainment on their duopoly stations, .2s, or by selling the affiliation off and collecting money from other stations in the market.
  16. The production studios in the building are way too large for a news operation. Studio A is 10,000+ square feet, which is absolutely massive. It's roughly the same size as a couple of the stages at Universal in Hollywood. Look at the Instagram link above, I believe they are currently in Studio A based on how much space you can see behind the set. Studio B is 4,000 square feet, which could be made manageable by splitting it in two like NBC is doing in NY with 3B right now, but it's currently listed as rented, and then you lose that space for smaller shows that might not need 10,000 sq. ft. They're probably going to be stuck in that corner of the newsroom until NBC shells out some serious cash on finding new studio space in the building, or completely gut the newsroom and turn it into a studio, moving the newsroom elsewhere.
  17. Is that standup area to the left... from something? It looks like it's an old set piece repurposed into the temp set. The fake bezels around the monitors just look old. TVs haven't looked like that in 10 years.
  18. Since they were nice and credited us: NewscastStudio has confirmed the split is for WNBC/WNJU.
  19. It's likely that the temporary move out of the main studio building has something to do with work going on inside. Due to the nature of a TV station, there's certain work that must be done every so often that is made extremely complicated by having to work around broadcast schedules. Need to replace electrical equipment? You have a small opening on the weekends to do the work. Swap out a router? Rebuild a control room? You're hastily swapping things around and making people work 18 hour days to get everything moved and the new stuff installed while still putting shows on the air. It's not impossible, but it's a lot of work. A whole week to do the work? No rush? Who wouldn't want that?
  20. FIST FIRST on TVNewsTalk... The TVNewsTalk On Your Side I-Team Investigators have obtained building plans that appear to show NBC is in the process of renovating and dividing Studio 3B (last major use was NBC Nightly News/Rock Center up until 2017). The plans show two similar looking studios (however, the plans are marked "Scenic Fabrication by others, shown as reference for coordination purposes only") named as "3B-1" and "3B-2". The plans appear to show a 360 degree track camera in each, possibly similar to what BBC News uses. Could these be for WNBC and WNJU once Telemundo moves to 30 Rock? DEVELOPING...
  21. The TVNewsTalk On Your Side I-Team Investigators have learned that this is much more than a new set, they are completely gutting the second floor studio and former newsroom to build new studios for WPIX and NewsNation. The On Your Side I-Team has obtained the demolition plans for the second floor showing the removal of the old newsroom and technical spaces (Note that dashed lines indicate a wall that is slated for demolition.) You can find them here. At the end of last year, a studio was renovated on the 10th floor, which is probably the studio they are currently using. It will probably be some time before this project is complete, as the demolition plans were just approved in early July.
  22. Keep in mind, the era a lot of these are coming from was when it was still entirely possible for a station's in-house graphics department to create an entire news graphics package on their own. It wouldn't surprise me at all if that's where a lot of these unknown ones came from, especially the larger stations (i.e. WPIX and WGN) You see a lot of TVbD knockoffs because a lot of stations looked at their work and went "we can do that ourselves for much less". You don't see it much anymore because most stations barely have a graphics department, and unless you really like working in local TV, most decent designers jump ship to different lines of work.
  23. We were discussing NewsNation in the Discord the other day, and I went browsing through Nexstar's latest Annual Report to see what mentions of NewsNation they make in it. One thing did jump out at me, in a mention of how much money they've saved cutting syndicated programming and other types of rights (emphasis mine): Dropping syndicated programming and other shows from NewsNation through 2021 saved them $17.5 million dollars. They now control all of that ad inventory, on programming they are paying much less for than what it replaced (hell, dropping syndicated programming very likely paid for the NewsNation programming outright.) This is an important part of the NewsNation strategy, the same strategy the local stations use when they drop an hour of Judge Judy for more local news. The "ratings" might not be as good, but if they're now paying $4,000 an hour to program NewsNation Prime where they were previously paying $8,000 for an hour of Law and Order: Parking Enforcement Unit, they are coming out ahead.
  24. That's not a "mock", it's an actual graphics package offered up by our very own @cxd7346. It is NOT the new O&O graphics. While the package is well done, this thread is not the appropriate place to talk about it.
  25. The article to me reads like they're only building a "state-of-the-art weather center" in the space and not trying to replace the current news set. Weather is something that wasn't given much attention on the current O&O sets, so that makes sense.
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