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One of the final WGN station IDs you'll see during a Cubs broadcast   Seen at the end of the retrospective during the "10th Inning" broadcast after the game on WGN.   https:/

'GN Sports' launches tonight, and I can't stress enough how much I love this look. The evolution of logos is so nice.    

Larry was off today, and with threats like these, he might never come back.

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As of tonight, WGN's 15-minute late night COVID-19 report has been rebranded as WGN News at 10:30, with a time-specific open and all. Joe and Micah are anchoring, of course, and GN Sports is still at 10:45. I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes the long-term arrangement from 10 to 11, perhaps even after sports fully resume.

 

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1 hour ago, 24994J said:

As of tonight, WGN's 15-minute late night COVID-19 report has been rebranded as WGN News at 10:30, with a time-specific open and all. Joe and Micah are anchoring, of course, and GN Sports is still at 10:45. I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes the long-term arrangement from 10 to 11, perhaps even after sports fully resume.

 

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At this rate, we'll have the WGN News at 11pm soon, then the WGN News at Midnight, then they'll just take it all the way until 4am.

 

Edit: According to my Xfinity program guide, this is a permanent addition to the schedule. I'm guessing Feder will have the announcement in his morning post either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Edited by Spring Rubber
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3 hours ago, Spring Rubber said:

At this rate, we'll have the WGN News at 11pm soon, then the WGN News at Midnight, then they'll just take it all the way until 4am.

 

Edit: According to my Xfinity program guide, this is a permanent addition to the schedule. I'm guessing Feder will have the announcement in his morning post either tomorrow or Wednesday.

 

I mean, this is another repositioning of a half hour they've been filling for over 4 months, so it would take at least another 20 years of expansion before they hit 4am. The morning news would surely meet it in the middle at 1:30 before then. 😉

 

But really, the Dina Bair corona series was also on the program guides (at least mine, anyway), so I'm not sure this means much. Honestly, filling the 10:30-45 portion with news is likely less about adding news than it is about GN Sports not being able to fill 30 minutes, at this time.

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I think this new role will be a better fit for Donlon. Hopefully they go with “homegrown” talent to replace him on the evening newscasts moving forward... I’d really like to see Ben and Lourdes at the helm at 9pm. With all these departures, WGN should pick up some of the recently laid off CBS2 staffers. 

Edited by alex979
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Does anybody think it's a questionable decision to launch News Nation during the week before Labor Day rather than the week after Labor Day? Especially if Labor Day winds up being the safest holiday of the year due to COVID-19 case decline, I picture a lot of people being out and about and nowhere near a TV set watching WGN America. Just seems like a Tuesday 9/8 launch would be better from a ratings standpoint. I'm sure they have their reasons, though...

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48 minutes ago, Spring Rubber said:

Does anybody think it's a questionable decision to launch News Nation during the week before Labor Day rather than the week after Labor Day? Especially if Labor Day winds up being the safest holiday of the year due to COVID-19 case decline, I picture a lot of people being out and about and nowhere near a TV set watching WGN America. Just seems like a Tuesday 9/8 launch would be better from a ratings standpoint. I'm sure they have their reasons, though...

It might be better this way to use the week before Labor Day as sort of a "soft launch" to get some of the kinks out of the way when there is potentially a smaller audience. Chances are there will be some issues/glitches when the show first launches.

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Last night, WGN covered a car chase live during the 9 and 10 PM news. Joe, Micah , et al did their best to try and follow along, but it was obvious they haven't done a live car chase before (probably not that common on Chicago TV compared to LA). Skycam 9 also struggled to keep up with the car in question, and the helicopter signal kept glitching out in key moments (not their fault).

 

Also, it seemed the camera on Skycam 9 isn't as good as the camera on KTLA's helicopter, or the operator wasn't able to adjust the camera properly for night operations. 

 

 

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20 hours ago, ED2 said:

Also, it seemed the camera on Skycam 9 isn't as good as the camera on KTLA's helicopter, or the operator wasn't able to adjust the camera properly for night operations. 

 

I've watched some of the LA choppers night time protest coverage on Youtube and have been really impressed with the quality, clarity, and brightness of the cameras at night. Must be expensive special cameras compared to other markets.

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The WLS chopper video from the sane chase was so much better. Easier to see, didn't keep breaking up, and they have the same mapping software as the other O&O's. Perhaps WGN would be wise to consider as least a little bit of an upgrade of their SkyCAM.

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On 6/5/2020 at 12:46 PM, CircleSeven said:

I don't think WGN used their own Skycam9 for the coverage. I say ths because WMAQ uploaded their raw footage of the chase, which was the same feed WGN used.

 

That could be. Probably explains why there was no commentary/reporting from anyone on Skycam 9 during the chase, it was left to the producers passing info to Joe and Micah in their earpiece.

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Not sure if WGN is using either a new or a backup graphics system, but all of the fonts from the lower thirds to the weather ticker are much smaller than normal today. The fact that some of the lower thirds on live shots are animating in and out from the side rather than fading in/out makes me think maybe it's a new system rather than a backup. They just need to tweak the fonts to be bigger again, as long as its possible.

 

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Ok, I'm fairly convinced that WGN must have rolled out a new automation system. Everything I've seen tonight is indicative of the same type of technical gaffes you usually see when a station has a new automation system. The entire 10pm hour was devoid of the "News at 10" logo on the lower third, instead displaying an empty blank space there. When they went to Tom's weather segment, all of the titles on the triple box were from a story that aired earlier in the newscast; the lower third on the triple box was about police reform protests, and the title above Tom's video said "Wrigleyville". When GN Sports started at 10:45, the opener completely failed to play. Instead we started with a black screen and then abruptly cut to Lauren Magiera's single shot, during which time she had no idea she was on the air. We sat in awkward silence for about 10 seconds. Suddenly, the opener's audio started to play, and Josh Frydman started introducing the show; meanwhile, we were still stuck on Lauren's single the entire time and unable to switch camera shots for a good 30 seconds.

 

Does anybody know what WGN had been doing to date? Were they still using a fully staffed control room, and maybe cutbacks finally forced them into automation? Or were they using a different automation system for which they may have had a reason to switch to a different solution?

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3 hours ago, Spring Rubber said:

Does anybody know what WGN had been doing to date? Were they still using a fully staffed control room, and maybe cutbacks finally forced them into automation? Or were they using a different automation system for which they may have had a reason to switch to a different solution?

 

While this sounds like a pessimistic theory (that I agree with), I must admit that the tweaks in fonts, text size, and animation all seem improved. Of course kinks are expected (ABC 7 had the same issues when they changed systems a little while back, and had to rebuild some graphics), but I like what I've seen, so far. Could all this be some new Nexstar infrastructure?

 

So, three years with these graphics, and now we know what the left end of the lower thirds look like. Even the temp and time text saw some tweaks.

 

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Yeah, it very well may be some sort of standard Nexstar system. I think the new time/temp layout is nice. It fits better in the space than the old font did. Not sure how I feel about the lower third fonts. I'll see how it feels after a few days as tweaks may continue to occur.

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WGN has shown control room shots during their morning news before, and it looked like they had a fully manned control room at the time.

 

I believe Nexstar was getting rid of Tribune's homebrew newsroom system (OPUS) and video playback system, so this might be the result of that (I'm seeing similar issues on KTLA as of late). Plus, I assume that new broadcast equipment is being installed for NewsNation, so the company probably upgraded/changed WGN's control room while they were at it.

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I assume Nexstar is slowly and methodically sparing no expense at WGN. They use Ross wherever possible, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was a CG system switch for now, possibly a full swap to Ross Xpression/Tessera and OverDrive?

 

Related slightly, they have an opening for a Tessera operator, but it doesn't specify if it's for WGN or News Nation. 

 

EDIT: "We are currently searching for a Ross XPression Tessera Operator for live nightly national newscasts." - So it is for News Nation. 

 

 

 

Edited by TheGuru
facts!
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26 minutes ago, TheGuru said:

I assume Nexstar is slowly and methodically sparing no expense at WGN. They use Ross wherever possible, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was a CG system switch for now, possibly a full swap to Ross Xpression/Tessera and OverDrive?

 

Related slightly, they have an opening for a Tessera operator, but it doesn't specify if it's for WGN or News Nation. 

 

 

 

Job posting is for a "live nightly national newscast". If WGN News and NewsNation production staff are both under the same union, then the staff could probably work on any show out of Bradley Place...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Caught the credits tonight. Is the presence of a director, technical director, and audio operator an indication that they're not in fact using automation?

 

Also, nice of them to credit Weather Producer Bill Snyder. I'm sure it's been many years to date without ever being shown in the credits.

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WGN is the last holdout in the market for having a traditionally switched newscast. Last I recall, some shows were automated and some weren’t. 
 

There originally were integration issues with their newsroom system when they built their automated control room. It’s immediately adjacent to their normal booth, and I think replaced the original CLTV control room closet. Due to the integration issues and other conflicts CLTV used the automated and they left the main channel to use the traditional set up. 
 

Now that CLTV is gone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them slowly change to more automation. 

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