DMA 4: PHILADELPHIA

WFMZ Turns To Devlin For New Set Design

Poised between the Philadelphia and New York broadcast markets, sits Maranatha Broadcasting’s WFMZ Allentown, Pa. The independent station in the Lehigh Valley, north of Philly and only 90 miles west of New York City, has served the northern tier of the Philadelphia market since 1976, and has grown to provide 46 hours of news each week. 

WFMZ is carried on various cable and satellite networks in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York markets, which puts it toe to toe against some of the best and most formidable news stations in the country. When WFMZ decided to invest in a new set it turned to Devlin Design Group.

“There was only one scenic partner we considered for this project, and it wasn’t just because they did our last major set 10 years ago,” said Barry Fisher, WFMZ president and general manager. “We kicked the tires of some other design firms, but Devlin Design Group’s latest industry accomplishments told us they had the hottest hand in the business right now, and they would make the perfect partner for this project.

“We were not disappointed, as Team DDG produced a design that simply blew us away. It captured all that we were trying to accomplish visually, with a clean contemporary look and lots of flexibility and functionality. We knew at once the design would give us the production values and branding message that we needed to move our station forward to serve our viewers with the best newscast possible.”

The choice of construction materials exudes the best in contemporary design. Brushed silver finishes, stacked stone, cool blues and formed architectural pieces envelope the set, defining the expansive space with a high-tech but approachable look and feel.

“When we developed the creative for WFMZ, we were liberated and spared no expense to give them a set that punches well above its weight class. Being from the region, I know that WFMZ is plucky, and deserved a set that captured their independent spirit. We are very proud to be a part of their continued success.” said Dan Devlin, DDG owner and chief creative strategist.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

The studio is stacked with a smorgasbord of monitors and video arrays normally seen only at larger stations. The main background is anchored by a 6 x 3 video array for visual impact and storytelling flexibility. Flanking this area is the weather presentation area, which includes four 80-inch monitors in front of a roomy see-through weather office that features prominently on the set.

Nearby is a spacious crescent shaped leather sofa that seats eight and allows for variety and more informal interviews/conversation. On the other side of the set is another storytelling venue, with three vertical 80-inch monitors mounted on soldiered stands that add an interesting architectural feature.


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