In early 2010 FX Design Group brought back an exciting contest designed to help one news station badly in need of a new look but with no budget for that new look. A “makeover” so-to-speak. So along with motion graphics partner…now a division of FX…Giant Octopus and music company Stephen Arnold Music, FX re- launched the Ultimate Newscast Makeover (UNMO). The winner would receive a total set package valued at over $30,000 including new music and motion graphics!
Interested news stations and journalism schools entered the contest following strict guidelines which included a “Why Chose Us” video. The UNMO team sorted through the entrants and selected two finalists. Western Kentucky University was one of the finalists selected. Early set designs were created by FX and posted on the UNMO website for viewing.
Using Facebook and other social media tools the finalists encouraged their fans to vote. The winner received a new anchor set area makeover, graphics package and music package. Much to everyone’s surprise the winner was the School of Journalism and Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. The strength and reach of the Hilltoppers alumni proved too much for the competition.
Fast forward several months past the fabrication, delivery and installation of the set in the spring of 2011, to the design and installation of the graphics and music packages to mid-September 2011. FX CEO Mack McLaughlin spent two days with broadcasting students to design and execute the final element for the NewsChannel12 news set -lighting.
During his two days on campus, Mr. McLaughlin shared his expertise with students conducting three lighting workshops, where each group of students assisted him with proper hanging and focusing aspects of a news broadcast set. Jo-Anne Ryan assistant director of WKU’s SJ&B commented his efforts “brought a fresh approach and a professional look to our student newscast.”
“Everyone at FX really enjoyed working on the UNMO project with WKU.” FX CEO McLaughlin commented. “We selected them as a finalist because they produced a compelling entry video. Plus we felt it was a great opportunity to help those who are getting ready to enter the profession know what it feels like to work on a professional level set.”
Ryan commented that “The set brings a new energy into our broadcast news program. The students can be proud of the on-air production values that show case their work, which provides increased motivation to do their best work reporting the news, weather and sports to their community.”
The entire prize included an anchor area, anchor desk, video technology, set walls, set graphics, a new logo design, motion graphics and a music package. The new set is now ready for its September 20 airing debut on WKU’s award winning Residential Life Channel 12. The program will be replayed at midnight on WKYU-PBS.