Q&A: Capturing Southern California at ABC L.A.

ABC 7 debuted a new studio from Broadcast Design International in November, marking a major upgrade for the ABC O&O that also included new on-air graphics.

NewscastStudio recently had a chance to speak with BDI’s Tim Saunders about the design, which captures Southern California through some unique set design elements.

What were the goals/objectives of KABC for the redesign?

KABC-TV does a new set about once every 7 to 10 years, so there were a lot of goals and objectives on their plate.

Upgrading to the latest technology was big on the list but just as important was how they could use it to better illustrate stories to the viewers. Of course, to have a more updated contemporary and sophisticated look for the Los Angeles market was very important as well.

What inspired the design?

The design was inspired by the Southern California lifestyle.

Rendering of KABC-TV from BDI

Rendering of KABC-TV from BDI

Simple, clean design that combines flexibility in color changes without competing with the amount of digital video in the design.

This is a large studio, and the set features a lot of wide open space, so we designed it with enough height to complement the scale and give them the ability to use this great studio to the fullest.


The floor patterns are inspired by the “ABC Circle 7” logo and help to unify the sweeping arcs used throughout the set

What makes this project unique?

L.A. is a huge market that stretches from the beach to near desert regions and mountains.

We developed a custom “sand waves” wall covering that suggests this element and combined that with hints of wood tones to keep it warm.

ABC 7 Los Angeles tv studio

Much of the background is RGB lightbox that can emulate “blue sky” or sunrise/sunset sky colors. The overall effect is a bright and clean California feel.

Talk about the color scheme? The unique wall texture?

The overall color scheme was to be a neutral modern color pallet of cool grays and sand tones to support the many video display areas and color changing accent walls, with a splash of wood added for further interest and warmth.

Rendering of KABC-TV from BDI

Rendering of KABC-TV from BDI

ABC 7 Los Angeles

The custom designed and printed “sand waves” graphic was created and applied as finish to many of the set pieces creating a cool grey toned sand finish with perceived texture. It will receive and accept any color lighting directed at it.

ABC 7 Los Angeles video wall

What technology was used on the set?

  • Primeview 2.5mm full video LED display that creates a 22’ wide seamless image for main anchor background
  • 21 screen 7×3 47” LCD Primeview videowall to the right of the anchor desk
  • The anchor desk features (2) seamless plasma 42” monitors and (3) color changing LED lightboxes
  • Stand-up area with 3 vertical 80” Panasonic monitors to the left of the anchor desk
  • Far left is another stand-up area with (1) 84” Viewsonic touchscreen monitor
  • The far background of the entire set is a surround of color changing LED lightboxes with a custom printed vertical pattern
  • LED color changing accent lighting throughout the design