NewsChannel 12 getting a makeover

Hannah Bushon

NewsChannel 12 is ready to shake its “amateur” graphics and “cheesy” music.

“We’re losing that 20th century look and actually getting into the 21st century,” said T.J. Parker, a sophomore from Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Parker, along with Celeste Stein, assistant broadcasting professor, spearheaded the department’s effort in the FX Design Group’s “Ultimate Newscast Makeover” contest.

It was announced on Wednesday that WKU beat out finalist MI News 26, a TV startup from Cadillac, Mich., for a free set redesign from FX Design.

Parker said construction on the new set will be completed by mid-March and will be on the air for the last two months of the spring semester.

Stein said the process began last year for WKU when she began researching companies who produce news sets.

After speaking with news producers around the region who had recently acquired new sets, Stein contacted FX Design, who told her about the contest.

Stein approached Parker, who assisted in the production of a persuasive video describing how WKU could benefit from a new set.

When a call came that WKU was one of two finalists, NewsChannel 12 launched a promotional campaign on Facebook, Twitter and local cable. Voting was open online from Jan. 16 to Jan. 23, which Parker said concerned those at NewsChannel 12 because WKU was still on winter break.

“We promoted the heck out of it,” he said.

The current NewsChannel 12 set was put together about 15 years ago, Stein said. However, the makeover embodies not only a physical set, but updated music and graphics as well.

The makeover is valued at $30,000, according to a WKU press release.

Students were told on Tuesday that they had won after FX Design verified the voting mechanisms used had recorded accurate numbers.

Though it appeared that MI News 26 led most of the way, the group determined there were problems with the poll.

“With the community, I honestly did not think at first that we had a lot of support, but I guess it ends up that we did,” Parker said.

James LeTourneau, assistant professor and faculty adviser to NewsChannel 12, said credit for winning the makeover should go to the students.

“This makes the station look much better, up to date with a commercial operation,” LeTourneau said.