Recap: Off to the caucuses in Iowa
The 2016 election cycle has now truly started, after what feels like 4 years of build up from the networks.
Last night saw the first votes cast in Iowa as the Democrats and Republicans caucused before an impending snow storm, with a long night of coverage from the cable networks and many breaking news “key race alerts” from the broadcast networks.
Here’s a recap of how the channels covered the evening visually:
Al Jazeera America
Al Jazeera America used its main New York City studio for its election coverage, with a blocky graphical look.
ABC News featured a live stream on its website, with multiple cut-ins throughout the night with George Stephanopoulos in New York City. ABC used its election graphics package that debuted last year alongside its updated “Your Voice, Your Vote” logo.
The BBC used a 3D White House for its election graphics, with Katty Kay live from Iowa.
CBSN provided live coverage with CBS News anchor Scott Pelley anchoring cut-ins as news broke. While some improvements were present, most of the CBS News election graphics debuted in 2012.
Leaving no event uncovered, CNN had wall-to-wall coverage of the Iowa caucuses.
As is usually the case with its “Election Night in America” coverage, CNN featured a dramatic introduction video with candidate clips and new 3D animated graphics. The graphics, which built on CNN’s previous block look, created a glossy warehouse of candidates.
For those who have always wondered (since CNN has used a similar style intro with the same music for many elections now), the music featured during the opening was “Operation Blackout” from Epic Action & Adventure Vol. 1 and “We Have Prevailed” from Epic Action & Adventure Vol. 10.
CNN used its Washington, D.C. studio as its Election Center, adding a new desk. The set was also decked out in stars and stripes, with some extra monitors added… and, of course, John King’s Magic Wall.
Along with the opening, some insert graphics were also updated.
When showing results, CNN used an augmented reality strip, powered by Vizrt and StypeGRIP, that would float over the talents head from the caucus cam.
Broadcasting from Iowa’s state capitol in Des Moines, Fox News had the most regal backdrop of the networks.
Graphically, Fox News rolled out new election graphics that featured laser lines with slanted edges. The look included a very over-the-top graphics to announce Ted Cruz as the Iowa Republican winner.
Fox News also recolored its ticker blue for the evening.
MSNBC / NBC News
MSNBC anchored its coverage from New York City with Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow on the election desk that debuted in 2014 from Clickspring Design. Chris Matthews was live from Des Moines at Java Joe’s, which has also been the site of “Morning Joe.”
Steve Kornacki provided data analysis from MSNBC’s touchscreen and the NBC Decision Desk made a few appearances.
NBC News’ Lester Holt anchored cut-ins live from the kitschy West End Salvage in Des Moines, which also hosted “Today” and “Meet the Press.”
Both networks continued to use their previous election graphics packages, which debuted in 2014.
Broadcasting from its Miami hub, Univision took advantage of its studios large video wall for updates.