CBC breaks the traditional broadcast design mold with new ‘National’

The show has completely redeveloped its branding and uses five Viz Engines to drive graphics and videowalls.

Originally published by NewscastStudio.com

CBC, the public broadcaster of Canada, unveiled the revamped “The National” last night, its flagship nightly newscast.

Mixing monochromatic graphics with minimal on-screen distractions and a pared-down mix of stories, the broadcast is vastly different from most evening news programs, especially those in the United States.

The show feels like a mix between “Vice News Tonight,” “PBS Newshour” and a documentary program, such as “Frontline” or “The Fifth Estate,” CBC’s weekly news magazine program, with longer stories aimed at deeper reporting. Focusing on only a handful of stories allows for more development and reporting, without the traditional recap of the day’s events and generic nightly fluff.

“The National” also breaks from tradition with a roster of four anchors, originating from three cities across Canada.

Adrienne Arsenault and Ian Hanomansing are based in Toronto at the network’s main headquarters, the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, with Rosemary Barton in Ottawa and Andrew Chang in Vancouver. Chang also has the duty of updating the newscast throughout the night for Canada’s various time zones as news breaks.

Producers note that all four anchors will not appear in every episode, as sometimes they’ll be working in the field. The anchors also debrief each other after their long-form reports, such as after Arsenault’s piece on Syria.

A new home in Studio D

For the relaunch, CBC News worked with Michael “Spike” Parks on a new main studio that would provide flexibility for the show’s unique format.

Located at CBC’s broadcasting center in Toronto, the show’s main set occupies Studio D (formerly known as Studio 55), the long-time home of “The National,” using Control Room 52.

The look jettisons the previous bright red and blue design in favor of a space driven by technology, with multiple LED walls, including a unique installation camera center with vertical LEDs on different planes.

The anchor desk is open, with room for all four anchors, should the need arise, with the studio creating a 360 broadcast space.

Downlights around the set walls add pops of blue and orange with slivers of LED breaking up the sections. Blurred out views of the city provide a gentle background, with the walls showcasing large imagery during story teases.

A corner of the studio also includes mementos of past iterations of the show, such as a note from previous hosts and Peter Mansbridge’s former TV set.

A Look Driven by Stories

Graphically, the show has completely redeveloped its branding, with outside guidance from Ove Brand | Design, a Publicis company.

The refreshed motion design of “The National” is daring, breaking many standard, longheld broadcast norms. The look is minimal, staying away from flash and relying on imagery from the show’s stories as well as clear typography and monochromatic bars.

Even the lower-third has been reimagined, becoming a left-third that appears mid-screen.

For the show, 3 extra Vizrt Viz Engines were added to bring the total to 5, powering the graphics and video walls.

The graphics rely heavily on Gaussian-blurred images to create subtle backgrounds for text and infographics, along with punchy transitions and short audio cues to begin stories and sound bites. New theme music also debuted with the revamp.

A Broadcast for All Platforms

The producers of the show are very upfront in noting the change is about attracting a new audience and creating a newscast for the next generation, a show that works across platforms and devices.

Each edition of “The National” is broadcast on air and online, across a variety of services. The new design is developed to work across them, with readability appearing to be a key focus, along with translatability.

Overall, the relaunch positions the program along a new path in an age of rapid change for broadcasters, as many seek out new audiences.

Read the original article published by NewscastStudio.com