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Will “Look S” Make it to Miami in Time for Tokyo?

As Look S is rolling into NBC O&Os for it’s uniform graphics just in time for the Tokyo Games, one of their stations is in the midst of an emergent event; where graphics package changes could cause things to “look” haywire.

When NBC rolled out the gawd-awful Look N, it was in time for the Rio games in July 2016. On the day it landed to Miami’s WTVJ, there was breaking news that occurred, a shooting that targeted at a club early that morning; as that story continued into the day, an alligator attack at Disney World in Orlando broke on the same day, but had extensive coverage the following day.

Both stories were not wall to wall like the events like the apartment collapse in Surfside. As of this writing on July 7th, it appears the story is not wall-to-wall unless it warrants, but “warrants” could qualify of any presser or other catastrophic outcomes (that is highly unlikely) probably going into the rest of the month. Obviously when Tokyo begins, specifically WTVJ will most likely just stream the live events…

Normally during emergent events, any changes to a news workflow is halted. I knew someone who used to work at WCVB in Boston during April of 2013 when the station was moving into the very complex file based workflows and the Boston Marathon Bombing occurred, and they halted the transition, using the tried and true tape-based Electronic News Gathering workflow for another month or so.

The reason why I am making conjecture is that while graphics packages today are designed from other firms (NBC’s in house though), the execution at the local level are done by machines. The only user-level work is writing the lower thirds into a “template” from an over-worked producer. While Look S isn’t inherently different than Look N, there are some differences in positioning more complex titles like full screens and side shoulder graphics. If a producer doesn’t get fully trained (or even has the time given the emergent situation) the viewer may see cluttered text in places where text shouldn’t be seen.

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