In the Land of Liberty, WFMZ Declares its Design Independence!

Thursday November 16, 2017

Poised in a market between the legendary giants in the Philadelphia and New York broadcast markets, sits an independent station that’s got the moxie and know-how to compete! Situated in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, north of Philly and only 90 miles west of NYC, Channel 69 has served the northern tier of the Philadelphia market since 1976, and has grown to provide a sizeable 46 hours of news each week.  Their newscasts are the highest rated in their region, toping all of the affiliates seen in the northern tier of the market.

WFMZ is carried on various cable and satellite networks in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York markets, which puts it toe to toe against some of the best and most formidable news stations in the country.  In the 4th largest market in the US, the look and feel of a station communicates volumes to viewers who expect a certain level of professionalism and quality.  WFMZ decided to invest in a top of the line set by the experts for many reasons. They might be an independent, but there is nothing modest about the new studio design that 69News just premiered.

“There was only one scenic partner we considered for this project, and it wasn’t just because they did our last major set ten years ago.  We kicked the tires of some other design firms, but Devlin Design Group’s latest industry accomplishments told us they had the hottest hand in the business right now, and they would make the perfect partner for this project.  We were not disappointed, as Team DDG produced a design that simply blew us away.  It captured all that we were trying to accomplish visually, with a clean contemporary look and lots of flexibility and functionality.  We knew at once the design would give us the production values and branding message that we needed to move our station forward to serve our viewers with the best newscast possible.” said Barry Fisher, WFMZ President and General Manager.

The choice of construction materials exudes the best in contemporary design. Brushed silver finishes, stacked stone, cool blues and formed architectural pieces envelope the set, defining the expansive space with a high-tech but approachable look and feel.

“When we developed the creative for WFMZ, we were liberated and spared no expense to give them a set that punches well above its weight class.  Being from the region, I know that WFMZ is plucky, and deserved a set that captured their independent spirit. We are very proud to be a part of their continued success.” said Dan Devlin, Owner and Chief Creative Strategist at DDG.

WFMZ didn’t scrimp on electronics either as the studio is stacked with a smorgasbord of stunning monitors and video arrays normally seen only at larger stations. The main background is anchored by a massive 6 X 3 video array for the ultimate in visual impact and storytelling flexibility. Flanking this area is the innovative weather presentation area, which includes four 80-inch monitors in front of a roomy see-through weather office that features prominently on the set.  Nearby is a spacious crescent shaped leather sofa that seats 8 and allows for variety and more informal interviews/conversation.  On the other side of the set is another storytelling venue, with three impressive vertical 80-inch monitors mounted on soldiered stands that add an interesting architectural feature.

Technology, good looks and versatility.  A winning combination for the Allentown station that aims big… in this David vs Goliath visual showdown, the score is now David-2, Goliath-0!