Apr 26, 2016

WSAW-TV Set Named NewscastStudio Set of the Year – Fan Vote

Category: Station News

WSAW NewsChannel 7 fans have spoken! The station’s new studio set has been named Newscast Studio Set of the Year – Fan Vote. WSAW-TV survived three rounds of voting, ultimately defeating a network morning show set in the final round.

“The Team at WSAW is really making the most of their set technology, and the idea behind it is not about the technology, but about how the technology can help tell a story,” said Mack McLaughlin, Creative Director at FX Design Group. “This can be seen in their grassroots social media campaign which included using the set for two video promo spots to take home the win”.

Pitting themselves as underdogs, WSAW-TV encouraged it’s viewers to vote early, and often, with a social media campaign that included two satirical “Get Out and Vote” commercials. Viewer support was overwhelming as the campaign proved to be widely successful. The videos garnered more than 23,000 viewers and were shared nearly 100 times on Facebook.

“A lot of hard work went into the set design, the gutting and rebuilding of the studio and we kept our viewers in mind throughout the entire process,” said Jessica Laszewski, WSAW/WZAW News Director. “We’re proud to be part of this community and honored to share the stories we do. We like our new look and are glad our fans do as well.”

The set, which was designed by FX Design Group, features wide spans of backlit material and a large video wall behind the internally lit anchor desk. Additional flat panel monitors throughout the set, including the weather center, along with the color changing walls, give the set even more flexibility.

“Our new studio features the best technology and tools to enhance our storytelling—creating what we hope is an enjoyable and memorable viewing experience,” Laszewski said.

The studio redesign included a new set for WZAW-TV, the market’s FOX-affiliate. Both stations are owned by Gray Television Group, Inc.

"As news rapidly changes throughout the day, our journalists at WSAW and WZAW are now in a better position to engage viewers through an interactive format right from the news set. Our collaboration with FX on the set design is just another example of Gray's forward thinking and our company's ability to adapt to viewer needs," said Jason Effinger, Chief Digital & Technology Officer, Gray Television Group, Inc.

Local carpenters assisted the Florida-based design team with the set construction here in Wausau. Local businesses also completed the electrical work, installed the flooring and provided the finishing pieces—the monitors and the furniture pieces.

WSAW-TV and WZAW-TV would like to congratulate all the other nominees, and thank everyone who voted for their tremendous support.