Back from the Future! Delivering the News in 2020

“What will the future of local news look like?” What a question! It’s one that we plan to find an answer to. BUT…we need your help!

We certainly hope not, but do believe that our Avatar does have one thing right. There will be more 3D Digital Scenery used in place of 3 Dimensional Scenic elements in the years to come.

In 2009, FX Design Group in conjunction with Frank N. Magid & Associates, conducted an extensive research project to determine what viewers “connect” to in a local news broadcast. The results of this landmark study “Visually Connect with Your Viewers” were first released at the 2008/9 RTNDA@NAB show. The study results found that aesthetics really do matter. Some of the results were surprising, while others confirmed our thoughts. They included:

  • News sets, lighting and packaging are reasons to watch a local newscast and matter much more than was originally thought.
  • Aesthetics and packaging drive brand perception.
  • The audience can make clear decisions about what they see, why they like it – and can determine clearly the superior newscast look.
  • Backgrounds and lighting that help pop the talent off the screen, are critical to both HD and SD looks.

One graph in particular sums up Reasons to Watch Local Newscasts:



It’s been almost three years since we conducted that study and the move to HD was still in the early stages. So, in 2012, the FX and Magid Team is embarking on a follow-up aesthetic study to determine the direction and role Social Media, Scenic Design, (including Virtual and 3 D Digital) Motion Design, Lighting and Fabrication will be taking in Local News Production. To confirm if some or most of the original information still holds true.

We will be putting together our Study questions over the next few weeks and this is where we need your help. If you are headed out to NAB, please stop by our both C7243 and let us know what questions you would like answered as it relates to aesthetic elements of the news set. If you are not going to NAB, your questions are still just as important.  So, please email your questions to

We will integrate questions which aren’t already part of the survey questions. As a Thank-You for your help, you will be invited as part of the first group to see the study results prior to our first public presentation at EIJ 2012 in Ft Lauderdale.

If you will be at NAB, get a sneak peek at some of the study questions and materials.  “Back from the Future! Delivering the News in 2020” is a session that will be presented by FX Design Group CEO, Mack McLaughlin and Frank N. Magid Senior VP, Marv Danielski.  It takes place on Thursday April 19th in room S225 from 9:00 – 9:30 am.  This will be followed by a Panel discussion from 11:30am – 1:00pm in the same room.

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