The new JET 24 Action News
After furious months of design, demolition, construction which included weeks of producing hours of news products literally out of a hallway, the new set and graphics for WJET/WFXP debuted on Thursday.
This is not just a tweak, but a complete overhaul of the multiple newscasts morning, noon and night at the Erie ABC and FOX affiliates. The new music package that accompanies this change is only the second time the music has changed since the launch of Action News over thirty years ago. The graphics for both news and weather are instantly noticeable and a huge improvement for the market. And with the help of a lighting designer that has worked at the network level, the set and its inhabitants are extremely well lit with new Brightline fixtures.
P&T was invited to a sneak preview of the new set last week and was able to take these shots of a dress rehearsal of the WJET Good Morning Erie show with Cassandra Garrison and Tom DiVecchio. Important to making the new shows at the stations work are the efforts of studio camera operators such as Mike Anderson. The new format calls for more camera moves, trucks, dollys and pedestals (see def in comments), along with the typical multiple setups. Everyone on the set was working hard to hit their marks in the new format.
Some changes have come in IDs and positioning, with Action News 24 reworked to Jet 24 Action News. They have added the positioner of Your News Leader, with the weather laying down the gauntlet as Your Weather Authority. The competitive spirit lives in Erie TV!
The big question I asked GM Tim Dunst and ND Lou Baxter was about the road to HD. They reminded me that it has only been two years since their corporate owner dropped millions of dollars to convert their stations to digital broadcasting and that it will take a while to recoup from that major outlay. However, the new set is totally designed for the 16:9 HD format, so they will be ready when the cash comes calling.
I think it’s a huge win for the Erie market. I’m knocked out by the graphics and the huge improvement in lighting. More importantly, its a significant investment in our community by an corporate owner that will enhance viewer experience and just make all the players sharper. That’s a good thing!