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Everything posted by Weeters

  1. 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.
  2. The St. Louis Business Journal is reporting that Gray has purchased an office building in the suburbs at 77 Progress Parkway, previously the office for a company called Biomedical Systems. They expect to be moved in by late summer or fall 2023. The brochure for the property can be found here.
  3. Via the Discord, we discovered that NBC has moved Telemundo Orlando (WTMO-CD) into the old Golf Channel facility and repurposed one of the old Golf Channel sets for local news. https://www.facebook.com/65370841311/posts/10159282616506312/?d=n The studio is the old Jack Morton PDG set for Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" program, installed in 2013. They've just stripped it down and replaced the floor. They also took one of the desks from the larger Golf Channel studio (the one with the wraparound dot matrix LED tickers built into the base, though the tickers no longer appear to work) Photos from the original launch in 2013: https://www.golfchannel.com/media/new-morning-drive-set-photos
  4. The contract was originally awarded to Stun in 2019 (Yes, folks, sometimes graphics do take three years to develop).
  5. I firmly believe the de-emphasis of the call signs and channel numbers is 100% intentional, and the "white box" on some of the websites is a temporary thing to tie a few of the stations with "legacy brands" to the new brands. Why? Because it doesn't matter if you're "CBS 2 WXXX" on the internet, which is where the audience these groups are going after is. People say "won't this confuse viewers?" while the same viewers are the ones who can't understand that KDKA-TV and KDKA 1020 are owned by two different companies. The viewers who might be "confused" are not the viewers the stations want. I predict that, sometime in the near future, these "legacy call sign" stations will simply brand themselves on-air like "CBS News Pittsburgh on KDKA 2" for a while before dropping the calls/channel number entirely.
  6. It's not a "temporary" set, it's a permanent secondary set. "The Georgia Gang" uses it weekly. And since the secondary set is designed to look like the main set, and is practically brand new, I doubt there's a lot of desire to replace the main set. Maybe a refresh in progress at most. https://www.facebook.com/TheGeorgiaGang/photos/4558208764297598
  7. Hopefully, the money will be spent with a little more discretion than it has previously. New sets, graphics, and fleets of brand new live trucks that they got for some wild, unknown reasons (they rarely, if ever, do live coverage, let alone live remote coverage) do not contribute to the stories being told. That said, I'm not going to hold my breath that the $50 million isn't thrown away on a massive Clickspring set, a custom SAM music package, and other flashy stuff for their 19-year-old "anchors" to read CNN Newsource wire copy in front of, because the one thing NewsNet does well is look like it's a big name news outlet while operating like it's a Cadillac, MI local station.
  8. I'll say what I said on Discord: The larger lower thirds work well on mobile, though the mixed case text and Newsnet's habit of cramming entire sentences into lower thirds doesn't help them. The rest of it? Ehhhhhh. The little orange bar above the logo is too small, white text on bright orange is hard to read, the ticker uses TVNT's favorite stretched Helvetica, and the logo in general is just Not Great. Don't even get me started on the slogan, which is just dripping with "DA LIBERAL-RUN BIASED MEDIA!!!". Big step back, in my opinion. The last package was the only thing the channel really had going for it. A lot of this feels thrown together, and almost cartoony in a way. Someone I know compared some of it to default templates in programs like vMix. Also note that the entire package leans right...
  9. While looking at their website because of the new graphics and branding, I came across their "Contact Us" page, where, to my surprise, there were new names listed as "CEO" and "COO". Vince Bodiford and Chris Anderson are the CEO and COO of "NewsMakers Media", which appears to be a PR firm. From their website: Vince's LinkedIn also lists NewsNet and "NewsMakers Media" as a subsidiary of "Golden Media, Inc" So, uh, is NewsNet (sorry... NEWSnet) now just a PR firm wearing a "News.... AS IT USED 'TA BE!!!" mask? This makes the purchase even weirder imo.
  10. Austin posted in the comments of the Studio 31 video that the music is totally licensed and we can contact "Mark Agent" about it, or somebody named "Gary". I'm just curious how they managed to license all these themes.
  11. I'm inclined to agree with @Myron Falwell. INSP has no clue how to run a terrestrial television station. It's not part of their current business model. They exist to broadcast a single "socially conservative" cable channel that's chock full of cheap westerns and the leftovers of the old PTL Satellite Network. What on EARTH would these people want with network affiliates? Occam's Razor leads us to the simplest answer: They don't, they want the spectrum. They're going to get all their affiliations yanked the moment they tell the networks that they refuse to broadcast half of their programming over "moral objections" over LGBTQ matters or something. Most of their markets have "friendly" companies already there. Gray/Nexstar/Sinclair/etc will happily gobble up those affiliations, and the networks will defend it if the FCC starts making a deal about them having two or all three of the "Big Three" on one channel. "We had nowhere else to go!" The business model of INSP is threatened by cord cutters, what better way to turn that around than by buying up a bunch of full power, OTA, small-market network affiliates, gutting them, and setting them up to pass through the cable channel ION-style? The BEST case scenario with these stations is they sell off the IP to another existing group.
  12. Tacking on a new newsroom to a "competitive" market is not a formula for guaranteed success. Look at NBC's boondoggle in Boston. Neither the WPCW newscasts or the WPGH newscasts exist because there's any sizable demand for "more news." WPCW's newscasts are filler so they don't have to pay for syndicated programs. They exist to give CBS a couple of time blocks on the WPCW schedule where they control 100% of the ad inventory and revenue, using reporters and crew that they are already paying for. These people would be getting paid regardless of whether or not the WPCW newscasts existed, so it makes financial sense to use them to create more newscasts. Sinclair knows that operating its own news department would be a waste of time and money, so they choose to partner with WPXI. Sinclair pays less for this arrangement than they would for running their own news in the same time slots, so the profit margin is higher. WPXI gets to make additional revenue off the share, and use their talent and crew that would otherwise be doing very little during that time. Why is Sinclair willing to air news from a "competitor"? Same reason Cox is willing to produce news to air on a "competitor": It's mutually beneficial to both companies. The alternative would be for Sinclair run News from Somewhere Else (this also fits into the "we're already paying for it" model, because they're utilizing downtime at another one of their stations) or finally modifying TND into NewsCentral 2.0.
  13. I was going to write something out defending the concept of TV graphic artists copying each other, but it's really not just a problem there. The whole industry copies each other's work. Look at how many stations just blatantly copied WSVN's format in the 90's and early 2000's. The whole industry functions by taking what works in one market and either improving on it or just straight up copying it.
  14. You may remember that in early 2019, the NBC News DC Bureau experienced a fire that sent them to WRC for a few years, while the 400 N. Capitol building was rehabbed. At the time of the fire, NBC had two "big" studios in the building, N4 and N5 (where the fire started). When they moved back in the fall of 2020, a new Studio N5 debut, along with "N1" on the ground floor where Meet the Press calls home. But whatever happened to N4? It was still relatively new at the time of the fire, dating to 2017. You may recall, it looked something like this: NOTE: This picture is obviously taken with a very wide angle lens. The studio was actually quite small. Earlier today, we noticed on the Discord that Hallie Jackson was on a different set at the DC Bureau. I had heard another studio was being prepped to be brought online a few weeks ago, so I wasn't surprised. That is, until we started discussing the possibility that this is the new "N4". and here's where it gets interesting, folks. Take a look at the right side of the screenshot above, then this section of the old N4 set. It's the same, just the wood along the bottom is now red, the big wood square to the right of the screen has been deleted, and the whole wall has been shifted back a few feet so the funky shaped LED wall is now closer to the big TV monitor. Without seeing the rest of the set, it's hard to confirm, but this looks like at least a portion of the old N4 set has been reworked into the new studio. Given NBC has a habit of re-using existing sets (i.e. MSNBC using the old WNBC Studio 3C set when WNBC moved to Studio 3K a few years back, the multiple lives of the Megyn Kelly Today set, etc.) it's not really a surprise, but it is kind of wild that a set we probably all assumed was junked is still around in some form, even if they just re-built it using the original design.
  15. Given the group's new focus on the CBS News Streaming stuff, and that other stations had dedicated CBSN studio space, perhaps they plan on turning it into a proper studio for CBS News Chicago, or a kind of "hub" for the entire CBS News Streaming operation. If you look at WMAQ's old setup, it's not like you need much to accomplish this. Basically a desk in front of the windows and some lights. They might have to buy some new lights, though. I know they've been holding on to and using fixtures from McClurg Court even on the current news set when it went in.
  16. Overall this is a pretty decent set. There was some discussion in the Discord that the overall height (going up past the lighting grid!) makes it feel smaller than it actually is. I'm curious how long it will take until producers get tired of wide bump shots, or things break up high that nobody wants to pull out the scissorlift to fix. I do stick by what I said earlier, that I don't think they'll remain on Young St. for more than 5-10 years. This set, abeit nice, is obviously cheap. Parts of it look more like a trade show booth than a permanent news set, and there's little cut corners visible (such as the visible unistrut behind the frosted plexiglass above the LED wall), on top of the obvious recycling of some set pieces from Victory Park (look closely at both and you'll see 'em). The Victory refresh was obviously done with some intention that it would not stay there, and now all they did was move a bunch of it to the main studio.
  17. I have updated the OP with a statement regarding the status of the previously-announced changes, as well as a bit of what's in store for the site's future overall.
  18. Yup, sure do, and not one of them has said corporate "made them" do any of this. In fact, some of the more, uh, "creative" ideas were attributed to station management trying to "one up" other stations in "outside the box" thinking, possibly under the belief that if they weren't outside the box enough they'd be penalized. That's about the closest I've heard to "corporate made them" do it. Regarding the graphics and music, yeah, sure, I'm sure not every station was thrilled about it, but plenty of others were. That's just how these things work in the industry now. The stations resisting change are usually the ones that need it most anyways.
  19. This needs to stop. The "TEGNA Suits" did not storm into WFAA and demand everything be changed. All the "Tegna changes" have been driven LOCALLY by PEOPLE AT THE STATION, some of whom were THERE under Belo. Tegna empowered the stations go "outside of the box", something that they did not get under Belo. Lots of stations "used to be #1" back in the day. They had more viewers on their late news than there are viewers TOTAL between ALL the local newscasts today. Total viewers for all newscasts in the top markets these days match total viewers in small markets two decades ago. Tegna is allowing their stations to do what they think they need to do, so they don't get left behind. This industry has changed drastically since Belo exited the picture. @Myron Falwellsummed it up best in the Discord a few weeks back: Adapt or die. It's how the world works. Tegna is trying. Others are not.
  20. The TVNewsTalk.net On Your Side I-Team Investigators have been working night and day, on a mission to "figure out what the hell is going on" with this transaction, and can report the following: According to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs online filing system, the registered agent for Bridge News, LLC is also attached to the following relevant business registrations: Cypress NewsNet LLC (Registered 12/16/21) FTB Operations LLC (Mentioned in FCC paperwork, registered 1/13/22) NewsNet Operations LLC (Registered 1/13/22) Presumably, these are subsidiaries of Bridge News LLC. Additionally, Eric Wotila registered/modified the following companies as well: Lakeline News Operations LLC (Formerly NewsNet LLC, changed 1/19/22) Lakeline News Inc (Registered 12/29/21) The FCC Paperwork The FCC paperwork has a number of attachments, including an Asset Purchase Agreement, and a Time Brokerage agreement. The Asset Purchase agreement, entered into on 1/13/22, is between Freelancer Television Broadcasting, Inc and Eric Wotila personally. The buyer of the assets is "FTB Operations, LLC" which is the new company registered above. The purchase price is $20,000 and "assumed liabilities". The Time Brokerage Agreement, entered into on 1/13/22, is some legalese to allow FTB Operations (which now owns all the IP/contracts/etc) to program the OTA stations that are still technically licensed to Freelancer Television Broadcasting, Inc until the FCC approves the sale. There is an exception in the agreement for two hours on Sunday mornings, likely for EI programming. As part of the agreement, FTB Operations pays Freelancer $250 a month plus "reasonable and prudent station expenses associated with the fulfillment of Licensee's obligation to transmit Broker's programs." Summary So, basically, the entire NewsNet Empire is now in the control of Manoj Bhargava/Bridge News LLC via MBX Wyoming Inc, with Eric only owning 10% of Bridge News. The Speculation Mr. Bhargava is Gray Television's #3 institutional shareholder, through his company MBX Capital LLC (Not to be confused with a similar company MBX Capital Inc which seems to specialize in healthcare investments), owning 5.3% of their publicly traded shares. This transaction was made in July 2021, at the cost of around $100 million dollars. It is unclear what the intentions are with this acquisition of NewsNet. Only time will tell, I suppose.
  21. It might have just dried up, because word on the street is Wotila has sold majority ownership in his two OTA stations. This comes about a year after some construction permits Freelancer Television had in Colorado since 2016 were transferred to Major Market Broadcasting (a group that has several stations running NewsNet). EDIT: The Paperwork. The stations are being transferred to "Bridge News, LLC", a company owned 90% by Manoj Bhargava (a Conservative who owns the company that produces 5 Hour Energy and owns 5.2% of Gray Television) and 10% by Eric Wotila (founder of NewsNet/WMNN/etc). It's not clear if NewsNet is part of this deal.
  22. Local TV in general is experiencing a talent exodus. https://cronkitenewslab.com/management/2021/10/21/local-newsroom-recruitment-crisis-part-1/ https://cronkitenewslab.com/management/2021/10/28/local-newsroom-recruitment-crisis-part-2/ Nobody wants to work for peanuts in local TV when they can make bank elsewhere. I pointed out in the Discord last week that former WISN anchor Melinda Davenport was the host for Facebook's developer conference live streams. @Myron Falwellsummed it up best: Broadcast TV talent is learning they can use their skills at other jobs that make more money and have less stressful hours. There's fewer and fewer people that wish to replace them. TV news is a dying medium, and fewer people desire to stay in it when they can get better pay and hours that allow them to have a social life elsewhere.
  23. It looks like a re-creation of the mock-up made by the new logo designers that was included on Page 1 of this thread. I am told that the local station group was not involved with this project and that any mock up local logos included in the design documents leaked are not official new logos.
  24. Actually, something I didn't consider: Tegna has a history of taking old sets and moving them elsewhere, I guess it's always possible they build out this set, and then a few years from now, build them a new set in a new facility and take the now "old" set and move it to one of their smaller market stations. It's a win-win. A secondhand big market set moved to a small market will last an easy 20 years. Which one of their Texas stations has the old KUSA set? Maybe they'll get it. That thing's already old, give it a few more years and it's going to look like they're broadcasting from a TV News museum.
  25. I can almost guarantee that WFAA will sell their land in the next few years, once this development gets off the ground. I wouldn't expect much of an upgrade to the Young St. studios as a result. The days of WFAA in that spot are very likely numbered.
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