Wednesday, December 17, 2014

KRON Unveiled Its New Look And It Looked Positively Average; Get The Lighting Right And You'll Be OK

KRON debuted its new studio set Monday night--it finally moved into the 900 Front building that also occupies KGO-TV.

The news set looks fine; infinitely average; nothing out of the ordinary; extraordinarily benign; although there's a few issues and problems to work out and in due time they probably will be.

The two-seat, main anchor desk is awkward-looking. It's sort of the trend these days but it's a bad look. It also limits the entire design of the new look. Picky? Sure, but vital too. Why not give Pam Moore a more expansive area to work? She's your star power, KRON--it would be great to get her into the mix.

I'm also not thrilled with Gary Radnich roaming the set and now, being to the left, (on camera) of Moore. It looks odd and it hurts both Radnich and Moore. Better to place Raddy back in his familiar position.

The worst part of the new look is the lighting. It's terrible. On several occasions it looked too dark and then worse yet, it looked as if KRON overcompensated and lit up the joint like something out of Downtown Las Vegas. This needs work and here's hoping they get it right, eventually.

Overall, I like it. Again, it isn't something that dazzles; maybe that's OK here. It is much nicer looking than the old garbage at Van Ness with the spiral staircase and spaceship look. How 80's.

KRON can do more too--GET RID of the old graphics and news jingles. How annoying. This isn't 1986. The new look and the old sound doesn't mix. As long as you look different, might as well give yourself a complete makeover.

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  1. LOL, Rich is now a lighting and set critic.

    How was the Feng Shui Rich?

  2. I flipped on KRON news this morning and I initially thought they were working off of generators because of the weather again. It is dark. Distractingly so.

  3. It looks like they've lit the desks, but not the faces. The light is all reflected from below and the anchors look like they're telling ghost stories by a campfire. Really unflattering.

  4. RL complaining about Radnich's location on the new set is a lot like the old joke, the food is terrible and the portions are small.

    Really Rich, after complaining all these years about how awful Radnich is, now you're worried that his camera position is unfavorable?

  5. It's a starting point but there's a lot that needs fixing...

    1) Lighting - Yeah it's bad...too much from below and from the front. Not enough backlighting. This is easily fixable.

    2) The two person desk - More problematic and not easily fixable. Should have been a three person desk at minimum. The person winding up standing off to the side (I've seen them stand on either side of the desk now), just plain looks bad. What year is this...1982? They brought Jacqueline to stand by the desk during Gary's sports segment at 11 just to get her in the mix. It looked bad. Really bad.

    3) Pam and Gary - Gotta agree...the interaction is off between the two. This is especially true when Gary's standing at one spot and Pam is just a few feet away at the desk and they have to show the two split screen when they converse. But even when Gary's at the desk with Pam it's wrong. Gary should be on the other side of Pam. This is fixable even with a two person desk by moving Pam to the other chair for the newscast. There's no logical reason why this couldn't be done.

    4) Roaming Gary. Doesn't work. He looks positively uncomfortable standing up for the 8pm sports segment. Even his jacket being buttoned looks forced.

    5) They give Pam a big monitor behind her and they haven't used it once. Why bother?

    6) Lose the damn crawl. I've always hated that thing. The newscast looked better the first night without it.

    7) Some of the graphics need to be fixed, yes. The KRON bug looks positively SD on that HD screen. The crawl and everything on either side of it does too.

  6. > It is much nicer looking than the old garbage at Van Ness with the spiral
    > staircase and spaceship look. How 80's.

    That "80s" set is only ten years old and was unveiled with much hoopla and the laying off of lots of talented people in the trenches to pay for it. And it was instantly derided. Another home run from the geniuses at Young Broadcasting--you know, the guys who paid $800 million (a record sum) for a TV station not even worth half of that, hoping they'd become players like Ted Turner.

    The dumb get richer and the poor get laid off.

  7. Yea Gary looked like a stuffed sausage standing there

    1. Perhaps Radnich and Roberta Gonzalez are frequenting the same buffet?

    2. He had one button buttoned and the coat was bursting at the seams.

  8. I got around to watching the KRON news late Wednesday night. Those dated graphics have to go. I did think that Pam Moore looked better due to lighting then she ever did from Van Ness studios. Can lighting be improved? I'm sure it can but they need to settle-in and standardize on their marks, positioning, and camera blocking first. Do any of the local TV news operations ever use "live" studio cameramen or are they mostly robotic?

    1. I noticed Pam was looking really good as well.

  9. Another way of looking at it is..Raddy should take a hint. KRON wishes he would retire. That's a fresh start most of the newsroom wants.

    1. If KRON didn't want Radnich around, they would. That's the way the business works. They don't drop hints, they dump unwanted talent.

  10. I was so sad to see how mediocre that set looked! They got FX design group to do the set and it definitely wasn't their best work. I wonder if they were cut off at the legs by a tight budget? (The lack of a weather area would indicate so)

    There's so little versatility and nothing that stands out. You could’ve picked up this set in Omaha and dropped it into San Francisco. There were so many new standing and sitting positions they could've tried. There were so many new technologies they could've incorporated.

    The main desk is the best example of how half-assed this was. They put a ton of attention into the chin lights, but didn't do a thing to evenly light the rest of the anchor. Also, why have an ultra wide desk with a duplicated logo down low? Again, lost opportunity to something more.

    On the upside, I like the colors. That’s it.

    Also, has anyone noticed the irritating picture compression, SD/HD switching issue? One studio camera looks like it's in SD and some of the live shots coming in from reporters look squeezed.

    As for the previous set, I liked the staircase. Too bad they never used the stand up position at the landing.

    1. > Too bad they never used the stand up position at the landing.

      Back in the Steve Raleigh days, he indeed was photographed going up the stairs once. Radnich joked about it during his segment and Raleigh quipped, "What, you don't have a private office up there?"

  11. Rich, I disagree with you on the KRON music. I think it's unique and should be updated. But would KRON ever be able to find Michael Boyd (the artist) and pay him enough to make a v2 of his original music?

    What would help is if KRON actually used the full music package. There's some great cuts in there, like the never heard weather stinger.

    As for the graphics, I agree that they need to be dumped. There's gotta be more emphasis on cohesive branding and a cleaner presentation style. We're in market #6, they've got to pop!

    1. Rich ... uh .... you got a problem with 1986 ? ...LOL

      The news music sounds way better then the other tv stations in SF.
      Kind of like "The Flintstones" jingle on stereo steroids.
      But the weather / traffic jingle sounds like an ATARI video game.
      Extreme low budget.

      Yes, the full music package should be used & rotated, and dump the ATARI sounds.

      Actually, with the COSTCO color set (Also looks like CHEVRON)
      the only thing that is not low budget is the music.
      If it doesn't look professional, make it sound professional.

      Remember when KTVU had the "busy" background sounds ?
      Fake typewriters buzzing with an occasional bell ding.
      If only they worked as hard as those fake sounds.

  12. Window dressing is nice, but I'd judge by content.

  13. KRON should have a set like the old Hollywood Squares Game Show back in the 70's and everyone could have their own box...just a thought. If they did not show up for work their box would be dark.

    What do you think Rich?

    1. This made me laugh. Would Darya always be the center square because she believes the world revolves around her?

    2. Darya, along with all other KRON women with massive bolt-ons in the center squares would be perfect....the bloated one and his quadruple chins could probably take up two squares...

    3. He's not bloated. The camera adds 80-120 pounds extra.

  14. The set that KRON has is the same one they sell at Costco. They can change the color of the panels. The set is 'MODULAR' so if KGO can part with restrooms....they can add a weather and traffic area. Demolish the lunchroom...gain a new morning set with a toucy-screeny.

    Can KRON go dark if the KGO people kick out the power extension cord shared by the KOFY machine?