‘Reliable Sources Daily’ leverages virtual set extensions to create ‘CNN+ Newsroom’ background

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CNN+’s daily media news show “Reliable Sources Daily” builds upon the weekly show’s look with a series of virtual set extensions

Originating from Studio 21V, originally built as a green screen studio inside CNN’s Hudson Yards headquarters, the space is stocked with three seamless Planar video walls with a large circular LED floor, giving the space a significant amount of flexibility for other productions.

“Daily” retains the familiar “Reliable Sources” logotype and red, white and blue color scheme, while adding yellows and oranges to the mix.

The word “Daily” is set inside a box and uses serif typography and, in the opening title, is highlighted in bright yellow.

Thanks to three floor to ceiling video walls, “Reliable Sources Daily” is also able to feature a virtual, expanded take of its normal home in Studio 17N, a working newsroom set that also features a freestanding LED installation on one side that typically features a collage of media-related topical imagery behind host Brian Stelter

Along the wider video wall is a graphic designed to appear as though there are glass panels overlooking a newsroom space beyond. 


The lower part of this graphic features a band of simulated frost with the CNN+ logo and orange underline, while vertical lines added to the image file simulate the seams that might be found in plate glass.

Beyond this is a slightly blurred newsroom. 

Most of the workstations are strategically placed behind the frost, making it less obvious that the “newsroom” is deserted (at least of virtual staffers) while making the walls of the virtual newsroom more visible.

These walls include a red and blue grid pattern in the center that appear to be inspired by the video wall and backlit panel installation along the far back wall in 19Z. Two matching internally lit columns are depicted as being closer to the foreground. The show’s logo is featured in the center panel.

Flanking this are dark gray walls with banks of monitors while the faux ceiling features a mix of the custom square LED lighting fixtures featured in 19Z and the multipurpose Studio 19X.

On the shorter video wall segments, camera left and right, additional VSE graphics that appear to be hallways are featured, including a virtual entryway topped with “CNN+ Newsroom” signage. 

In the corners where video walls meet at a 90-degree angle is a simulated white column.

The side video walls feature a more solid, structural element in the middle that can be used as an OTS element for cold opens. 

These also appear in cross shots for remote interviews.


In addition, there’s the option to use this look to create the appearance of an interactive screen for data driven segments.

The right side of the studio also features a studio camera purposefully left on set with its cable snaking along the right wall. It doesn’t appear that this camera is actually used for any on air shots but instead is more of a scenic element suggesting the show’s look behind the scenes of TV news and other media businesses. 

The curved anchor desk with vertical color changing lightboxes are part of a new collection of modular options available to be used on current and future CNN+ programming (and could also show up on CNN too).

In show graphics use a condensed version of the network’s bespoke CNN Sans font in a blue box with white text with red and orange accents wrapped around and a white flag tier.

Guests are identified with a layout that puts the last name in blue and the first name against a transparent background with a heavy shadow effect and gold lines above and below. The white flag can be used here as well.

The person’s title is, somewhat oddly, spelled out below this in a wider font that seems to compete with the typography for the name.

The show also has the option to use fullscreen graphics that use a matching color scheme with a black header, something also found in two-box layouts, with a slight texture reminiscent of newsprint. 

Clickspring Design worked with CNN on the Studio 21V and 21W updates.

Along with traditional cameras, the space includes new Vinten robotics and Autoscript prompters. 

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