Viewers are noticing that WHIO-TV’s studio is sporting a new look.
“We are thrilled to debut our state-of-the-art News Center 7 set for our viewers,” said Rob Rohr, Cox Media Group Ohio Senior Vice President and General Manager. “It’s the culmination of months of hard work, research, design prototyping and innovative technology experimentations that will captivate and engage viewers like never before.”
The new set, designed by the award-winning FX Design Group, allows Storm Center 7 meteorologists to track storms and alert viewers to severe weather events using a vibrant, new touch-screen display. Anchors and reporters will tell stories using a trio of stand-up monitors that have the flexibility to turn both vertically and horizontally, allowing for greater variety in graphics opportunities.
The set is about much more than a look, however. David Bennallack, senior managing director of WHIO-TV, radio and digital, said the set offers the flexibility to explain news stories in multiple ways, providing depth and detail with graphics, video and interaction from anchors and reporters.
“Weather is the most important thing we do, and substantial thought was put into design of the new Storm Center 7,” Bennallack said. “The design will help our meteorologists use their technology from multiple areas while they are live on TV and radio, allowing them to quickly track and report changing conditions.”
The final product was unveiled after more than a year of planning, two months of building and a final month rehearsing, Bennallack said.
WHIO-TV anchor Cheryl McHenry said the set helps bring news presentation into the 21st century.
“To me, it’s a lot like renovating your house,” said McHenry, who has anchored the WHIO newscast full-time since 1991. “Every few years, it’s nice to update your home and freshen the look.”
She added, “It’s exciting for those of us who work here to have a new environment from which to present the news to our viewers. The viewers will find the set more visually appealing because it has some different textures, more depth and a more modernized look. Plus, there will be more movement on the set — more positions where anchors, reporters, and meteorologists can stand to deliver information.”
James Brown, also a WHIO-TV anchor, has seen a lot of sets since an early job in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1994. This set is special, he said.
“TV is still a visual medium, and this just simply allows us to better explain and share stories with people on Channel 7.”
Said Bennallack: “In many ways, we’re inviting viewers into our home multiple times each day. We want that home to look nice, while adding to and not distracting from what’s most important — the news of the day.”