THE FUTURE OF NEWS: BROADCAST-WORTHY DESIGN
WGN-TV had a vision of a news network that reports stories from an unbiased perspective. To support their goal, REES designed an interior finish-out of approximately 13,000 square feet of unfinished space at Nexstar’s WGN-TV facility in Chicago. The new facilities accommodate and integrate both broadcast and workplace technology in ways that are functional, support efficient workflow and are camera-ready to present live on-air.
Creating Comfort for a bustling newsroom
The main office area is situated along large, pre-existing windows allowing for ample natural light. Installed window shades control the harsh light during live broadcasts. To absorb the sound and noise of a busy newsroom, SonaSpray, a soundproofing acoustical treatment, was applied on visible ductwork and acoustical fins were installed across the exposed ceilings.
FLEXIBLE WORKSPACES TO ACCOMMODATE GROWTH
Each area within the open-office concept is multipurpose, collaborative and flexible. A variety of work areas are available including focus rooms, collaborative spaces and a large conference room with a movable glass partition that opens up the space for flexible meetings. Furniture selections in all areas were made with functionality and comfort in mind. The open and flexible design allows for NewsNation’s future expansion as its news production evolves and grows.
RECOGNIZING ITS AUDIENCE THROUGH DESIGN
NewsNation wanted a space that embodied the Midwestern environment where they’re based. REES designers collaborated with studio set designers to create a cohesive newsroom and office celebrating the Midwest locale.
Studio sets and graphics feature skylines and landmarks notable to local communities where NewsNation viewers live. Newsroom totems feature digital screens showcasing each national viewing area.
CELEBRATING THE MIDWEST
To capture the essence of the Midwest, designers integrated warm tones, wood accents and bright blue hues. The idea of crop circles, patterns seen in Midwestern farming fields, became an overarching inspiration and design theme. The subtle theme is incorporated in furniture patterns in the conference room, metal wall details behind studio sets, light features and floor patterns.
ADAPTING DURING THE PANDEMIC
The design team overcame challenges working through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. WGN-TV needed to kick off broadcast programming in the late Summer to take advantage of media attention that would be garnered by the upcoming Presidential election.
Our designers adapted to work through safety restrictions the coronavirus imposed. Due to travel restrictions, designers relied heavily on remote project meetings, collaboration and clear communication to successfully complete the project on time. WGN-TV NewsNation launched programming on time and aired its first broadcast in September 2020.
Gallery | NewsNation
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