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Cincinnati's WCPO Debuts New Set

CINCINNATI—WCPO 9 has launched its new technology and newscast presentation with a new multi-purpose studio set. Spanning more than 80 linear feet of studio space in WCPO’s studio, the set consists of more than 40 vertical light boxes with three horizontal strips of color.

The new set’s LED light panels feature customizable lighting strips that can change in a wide variety of colors directly affecting the tone, look, and feel of the set. A breaking news or severe weather event can now be color-coded to reflect the event’s urgency and impact—all at the touch of a lighting control.

The main set features a high definition Planar video array. With 10 monitors (five wide and two high,) the array allows WCPO 9 On Your Side to display images and graphics in unprecedented clarity and scope. Viewers see live images and detailed graphics enhancing their understanding of breaking news events and coverage throughout the newscast.

“This new set has the latest technology allowing our anchors, meteorologists and reporters to be interactive and tell stories in a better way,” said Jeff Brogan, vice president and general manager of WCPO 9 On Your Side. “As a result, we are able to give viewers relevant ‘happening now’ information that is easy to understand.”

A redesigned, interactive 9 First Warning Weather center gives forecasters on-screen touch technologies to highlight storm systems, warnings and other pertinent weather information quickly and easily. The design connects weather and traffic for viewers through a multi-monitor 9 First Warning Traffic area. The same touch technologies pinpoint traffic tie-ups and alternative routes, giving viewers more precise traffic information before they hit the road.

The live alert center features touch screen technologies, as well as a dedicated pipeline to breaking news information. The center allows reporters, producers and anchors to show breaking news, live pictures, digital and other sources faster through large monitor displays.

A fourth utility area of the set uses a high definition video wall to showcase news stories, interviews, special programs and community events. This monitor wall features 9 high definition monitors in a square configuration and is useful in highlighting maps, graphics, photos and videos.

The new WCPO set is the brainchild of designer Park Warne, owner of Park Place Studio in Pittsburg, Pa. The design influence came from meetings Warne had with WCPO. Those discussions led to the development of an entire backdrop with a large expanse of color-changing light boxes representing the various times of day, dusk to dawn.

Conceived and designed to take full advantage of WCPO’s five fixed-pedestal robotic Ignite camera configuration, the set features more than 20 shooting positions.

“With its video arrays and touchscreen monitors, the set is the most flexible storytelling device Park Place Studio has ever created,” says Bill Brown, creative director of Park Place Studio.

Set construction began in late 2013 with lighting, testing and camera blocking occurring early in 2014. The set debuts today.

WCPO 9 On Your Side, is an ABC network affiliate in Cincinnati, owned and operated by The E.W. Scripps Co.