WBFF, Defining the Future of Broadcast Set Design

Thursday September 6, 2018

The team at Sinclair Broadcast Group’s flagship station WBFF, a FOX affiliate which serves the Baltimore area, challenged the Devlin Design Group to use ‘next-generation’ thinking to create a scenic storytelling environment that showcases the latest in technology, and increases production values. It was important the set embrace viewers by capturing the vibe of this station’s dedication to its community, to capture Baltimore and the station’s history.

“Sinclair Broadcast Group has been at the forefront of industry-changing events and technological advances. For our ‘home office’ we had to have a high-tech information hub for WBFF’s dynamic news operation. Team DDG delivered a design that energizes the entire staff and serves the community. The historic touches throughout the set honor the heritage of Baltimore and our founder,” said Mark Nadeau, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Director of TV Production.

Baltimore has been called a “city of neighborhoods” with 72 designated historic districts. The streets are lined with thousands of distinctive red brick rowhouses which architecturally define the city. The scenic team spent painstaking hours to accurately portray the red brick appearing on accent walls throughout the design.

The vision: A design with not only tech, but also flexibility, depth and character, allowing WBFF to move and enhance the way they tell stories.  An added benefit, was the combination of the designs layout, the scale of the sets architecture, and the creative integration, which has created a very intimate feeling on the set. This keeps the focus on talent, and gives them a very user friendly, fluid, storytelling environment. The layout includes a large main news area and lifestyle set.

Here’s how the design works: The flexibility includes a complement of stages with impressive technology. Three LED arrays behind the main desk feature the latest in video technology. There is a large storytelling wall for ‘the big story’ with fourteen monitors configured in a 7×2 array. The multipurpose area has a triplet of 75” portrait monitors for more intimate storytelling. The weather area has its own impressive 4×2 array. The main desk and weather desk include monitors for branding. The lifestyle set has three, 75” monitors for the display of video and graphics.

The Maryland State and Baltimore City flags are represented in the design. The vertical bars appearing in the RGB LED color-changing backlit walls, especially prominent on the lifestyle set, represent the Calvert family name of the Lords of Baltimore who founded Maryland. The cross bottony symbol which appears in the hanging etched glass panels represent the Crossland family, namely the mother of Lord Baltimore.

The set valance features an artistic interpretation of electrical analog symbols to honor of the founder of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Julian Sinclair Smith, who began his career as an electrical engineer before becoming a television executive.

“Sinclair Broadcast Group is dedicated to developing the next generation of broadcasting. We are thrilled to partner with them to help define the future,” said Kartik Dakshinamoorthy, Devlin Design Group, VP Scenic Design.

For more information, contact Diane ‘DiFi’ Fiolek.  248.875.9565   difi@ddgtvstaging.wpengine.com