Black News Channel Network Debuts Devlin Design Group Scenic and Lighting Design

Thursday April 4, 2019

The debut of the Black News Channel, the nation’s only provider of 24/7 cable news programming created “by people of color for people of color”, is creating quite a buzz throughout the cable news industry. For this new African American network, BNC chose Devlin Design Group to design scenic storytelling environments that would create a deep connection with their target audience.

The main studio located in Tallahassee, Florida, is the ‘home-base’ for the network’s news, lifestyle and sports programming. Virtual sets allow the network to increase their coverage throughout BNC’s bureaus, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C., New Orleans and Jacksonville.

“The set facilitates an intimate conversation between us and our viewers. We can use the variety of performance areas to do a deep dive into stories that reach and engage our urban audience. The design reflects BNC’s commitment to serve the African American community.” said Gary Wordlaw. Black News Channel, Vice President of News and Programming.

Capitalizing on information gathered from early focus groups creating the BNC brand, the contemporary design is truly a collaborative effort when it comes to shaping the wide array of performance areas in the main studio, the on-camera newsroom and the virtual environments.

“Capturing the culturally unique spirit of BNC was the inspiration in creating the flexible contemporary scenic storytelling environment and virtual sets. The team at BNC wanted something different that would relate to their audience and programming… not traditional news sets. We were excited for the opportunity to rise to the challenge.” said Kartik Dakshinamoorthy, Devlin Design Group, Vice President and Scenic Design Director.

The main stylized floating crescent desk is positioned at the center of the action. The bold curve mirrors the iconic shape of the BNC logo. The notion of transparency in news is reinforced by the use of clear curved plexiglass. Multiple color changing circular bands suspended above the main desk platform tie in surrounding performance areas. The floating rings add dimension to the entire studio. The intricate platform grounds the desk while adding additional visual interest with intricate curving textures and colors.

The working newsroom seen behind the talent creates a backdrop which implies energy. Flanking portrait 85” monitors leading to the newsroom add to the storytelling capability. The monitors can be used in the seated desk position or as an area for standups. The sliding doors leading to the newsroom can be opened to give the talent immediate access to news staff for big events. Three 85” monitors in the newsroom provide an added opportunity for more intimate storytelling.

The camera left walk and talk presentation area features a 15’ 11” x 6’ 9” seamless LED. The impressive stage is a perfect platform for an in-depth analysis of the day’s top stories. The camera right 14’ x 5’ 7” seamless LED creates a backdrop for the interview area. A moveable kiosk with an 85” portrait monitor adds to the versatility of the design. Both presentation areas have a number of color changing panels with the goal of being flexible enough to accommodate a variety of shows.

Two virtual sets add to the variety of storytelling environments. The visual feel of the main studio scenic blends with the virtual stages. Both sets are extremely flexible and include ‘virtual monitors’ to take viewers deeper into the story. The virtual environments can adapt to multiple shows with different formats including space for multi-person interviews.

Lighting fixtures for the sets were provided by Brightline Lighting.

BNC is an independent network, minority owned and operated. BNC’s mission is to provide intelligent programming that is informative, educational, entertaining, inspiring and empowering to its African American audience.

Devlin Design Group is one of the most influential set design and lighting design firms in the world. They are renowned for their iconic sets, expert scenic lighting and their commitment to design excellence, creativity, knowledge and innovation.

For more information, contact Diane ‘DiFi’ Fiolek.  248.875.9565