Chicago station switches to darker version of group graphics package for 10 p.m. teases

WMAQ, the NBC-owned station in Chicago, recently introduced a slightly updated look to help tease its 10 p.m. newscast during primetime.

The station still uses elements inspired by the “Look S” graphics package first rolled out at the station in 2021, but with some slight changes.

Whereas the old package often would use lighter backgrounds, this version uses a dark gray background with diagonal hashmarks with a combination of light blue and white typography.

This look has also been applied to the quick “Next at 10” and “Coming Up” transitions used through the tease. Other backgrounds and animations combine the lighter and dark backgrounds, including ones with the extruded peacock look introduced with Look S.

The final title-style card in the teases use a simple but eye-catching layout with a dark peacock background, relatively small typography and logos and some subtle light blue accents.

These promos appear to be pre-produced and air at the end of a break at around 9:45 p.m. local time, though this varies depending on what show is on. 

Like most NBC affiliates, the station also inserts a tease about halfway through the 9 p.m. hour, but this has not adopted the new look.

In addition to the updated graphics, WMAQ appears to be experimenting with different ways to shoot the promos, at least some of which are driven by the stories of the day.

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For example, anchors can be standing in front of the anchor desk with a good portion of the set behind them. There are also ways for reporters in the field to appear as well as the forecaster on duty — who often appears standing in front of what appears to be an LED video wall of a weather map. The teases can also be updated to accommodate a single anchor if needed.

During each story being promoted, a dark gray bar appears in the lower right with blue and white text outlining the current story.

In some cases, pre-taped 10 p.m. news promos are also using a darker color palette for at least some of these spots.

The dark color scheme likely serves as a way to both distinguish the station’s flagship 10 p.m. late news with a slightly darker, more elegant look that literally helps reference the idea of nighttime.

It’s worth noting, however, that the station did not change the graphics used with the 10 p.m.