A Dynamic Storytelling Set Design for WISC-TV

Tuesday February 5, 2019

The team at WISC-TV, a CBS affiliate owned by Morgan Murphy Media, challenged the Devlin Design Group team to consider the future of news broadcasting when it came to designing a dynamic scenic storytelling environment. The design needed to showcase technology, increase production values and spotlight talent. It was important the set embrace viewers by reflecting the vibrant Madison, Wisconsin capitol city community.

“Storytelling is the foundation of what we do. With the new design, our talent and viewers are now able to engage deeper with our story content.” said Colin Benedict, Morgan Murphy Media’s VP of News. “We know our viewers and users are incredibly busy and time is their most valuable resource. They count on us to alert them when it’s important and provide the depth and context on critical local issues.”

The vision: A design with not only tech, but also flexibility, depth and character, allowing WISC to create a more dynamic way to tell stories. The focus is on talent, and this design gives them a user friendly, fluid, storytelling environment. The layout includes a substantial main news area with a view into the newsroom, a working weather area for frequent extreme weather events common to this area and a place for interviews.

Here’s how the design works: The flexibility includes a complement of stages. The set is centered around an impressive storytelling wall for compelling narratives featuring eighteen monitors configured in a 6×3 array. The multipurpose area has a 70” portrait monitor kiosk for more intimate storytelling. The weather area has its own impressive 3×3 array that can be shared for team stories. It also has a 70” monitor kiosk. The anchor desk, with room for four talents, includes a dual monitor span for branding, encased in a frame that complements the new logo design. 

“Madison and south-central Wisconsin residents have relied on WISC-TV, News 3 and channel3000.com to provide them with the most relevant and accurate information they need to keep their families safe and plan for the day for more than 60 years,” said News 3 Now Vice President and General Manager Tom Keeler.  “News 3 Now and channel3000.com are the most technologically advanced breaking and local news team in the area and these changes will enhance the level of journalism we deliver every day.”

Madison has a nickname, ‘Four Lakes City’. This moniker is represented by an abstract angular water pattern displayed in the RGB LED color-changing backlit walls. Weathered wood, a nod to the rural areas, adds warmth to the design. An abstract capitol dome is represented in the etched glass surrounding the working weather room.

“By using technology in creative ways, it allows the team at WISC to really be in touch with their viewers through enhanced storytelling. We are happy to partner with them on this set design project with an eye on the future.” said Kartik Dakshinamoorthy, Devlin Design Group, VP Scenic Design.