Twin Cities station debuts set with eclectic mix of design elements

WCCO-TV, the CBS O&O in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., debuted a new set by FX Design Group that combines sleek modern elements with some interesting textural choices that seem a bit out of place.

The set’s main anchor desk features a clean design with backlit panels and built-in video panels and its situated in front of cityscape, made of monitors. Lighted columns and simple metallic headers complete the look.

Since the camera center background is a video wall, the station also is able to use it to display topical graphics, like this:

To the right of the graphic is a sculptural wall made from horizontal strips of gray and brown.

This wall, while visually interesting and well lit, seems a bit out of place among the set’s modern modern, clean lines. Its color tones also seem a bit out of place among the whites, grays, blues and reds found elsewhere on the set.


The left side of the set features another interesting choice that echoes the browns found in the camera right wall through the cooper and silver tones in its dramatically lit feature wall. Again, this portion of the set is well lit and certainly adds a unique look not typically found on news sets, but seems a bit out of place from the rest of the design.

To both sides of the main anchor desk, frosted plexi panels situated in front of printed graphics add a great sense of depth to the set. The tall, elegantly curving camera right wall that fronts a cityscape and blue toned graphic is especially effective.

This portion of the set also features a freestanding, mobile 2 by 2 video panel array that is used as both an OTS element from the anchor desk and standup location, as well as an alternative for displaying full screen graphics. The array is made up of 60 inch HD monitors and is known as the “quad cart” by anchors.

To the left, meanwhile, the copper and silver toned metallic wall serves as a transition from the anchor area to the weather center, which echoes the clean, bright backlit panels found on the anchor desk and is backed with printed graphics and monitor arrays. The horizontally banded wall found in the anchor area repeats behind the weather center’s standup OTS monitor and is also found again in the interview area that includes a built in couch and windows overlooking the public space adjacent to the station.

Overall the new set is reminiscent of work found at both WCBS-TV in New York City and WBZ-TV in Boston, both done by Jack Morton PDG, as well as the design of KPIX-TV in San Francisco, designed by FX Design Group. The use of the sculptural elements draws some comparisons to work Jack Morton PDG did for previous Olympics sets.

The station has posted a tour of the new set and a time lapse of construction as well as a video of the opening portion of the newscast.