Channel 4 News extends regional footprint with Leeds studio, newsroom

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Channel 4 News has broadened its horizons with the establishment of a permanent broadcast facility in Leeds, becoming the first national evening news program to be co-presented from two locations across the United Kingdom.

Channel 4 notes this addition affirms its commitment to geographic diversity in its coverage.

“It will bring more authentic regional voices to our news coverage, deliver more opportunities to people in the region and help ensure we continue to provide the best news coverage for our audiences,” said Louisa Compton of Channel 4 News.

“ITN’s newsrooms are committed to reflecting the experience of people across the UK and our investment in Channel 4 News’ Leeds operation and the content teams based there will significantly deepen our roots in communities across the north of England and enrich our coverage for viewers right across the nation,” said Rachel Corp, CEO, ITN.

Operating from a temporary setup since early 2022, the transition to a permanent hub in Leeds city center represents a significant increase in Channel 4 News’ regional presence. Backed by a larger newsroom team and new broadcast studio space with windows overlooking the city, the expansion gives Channel 4 the latest in broadcast tools and a home for its FactCheck data journalism unit.

A remote production for Channel 4

A standout feature of the new Leeds studio is its incorporation of actual windows into the set, mixed with large LED display technology. This design choice necessitated ND window treatments to reduce glare with a series of vertical LED displays also helping block some potential sunlight. 

Simon Jago and the Jago Design team worked with Channel 4 on the new studio design, having also designed Channel 4’s London studio.

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Broadcasts from Leeds and London are managed out of PCR 6 at the ITV Network Centre, with Vizrt’s Viz Multiplay utilized remotely to control the studio displays from London with tight integration in Vizrt’s automation platform.

To achieve connectivity between Leeds and the existing London facility, Channel 4 News is using Riedel’s Bolero for talkback, Ross Video’s Ultrix routing platform, and EVS’s Cerebrum for remote control routing.

The Channel 4 team, along with vendor ES Broadcast, has also made efforts to integrate cloud infrastructure for contingency planning. In the event of an issue, broadcasts from the Leeds studio can be produced via Grass Valley’s GV Ampp platform with TinkerList handling the rundown and script. 

The temporary studio and select broadcast technology will continue to see usage through a donation to the University of Leeds School of Media and Communication.

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