KNBC Hits Right Notes With ‘Rock Treasures’

[vzaarthumb:847358]The Los Angeles O&O promoted a special news series with a rapidly produced collage using never-before-seen photos, postcards and handwritten notes of such rock ’n’ roll greats as the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and, most notably, the Beatles.

Title graphics for news series rarely get the attention they deserve. Even though they take hours of exacting work to create, they are soon forgotten. After all, they typically run for barely a week. So local designers applauded extra hard for this year’s winner of the Promax Local Awards Gold winner for “Best News Open/Titles/Bumpers” — a promotional graphic for the news series Rock & Roll Treasures from KNBC Los Angeles.

The series, which appeared last fall, marked the public debut of an amazing collection of photos, postcards and handwritten notes by some of the most famous musicians in the world. Veteran KNBC news producer Tara Wallis-Finestone profiled 64-year-old Patti Daley who, as a young woman, amassed these rock ’n’ roll treasures.

A rare exclusive like this demanded a special graphic. At Dallas-based NBC Artworks, Creative Director Joel Michon took the call. “We support all the NBC-owned news departments,” Michon says. “Any high profile project that’s going to run more than once triggers a conversation with the executive producer. We also reach out to the creative services director or station brand manager for their thoughts on how the story should be portrayed.”


Although they’ve never met in person, lead designer Jeff Steed says he and Tara Wallis-Finestone “share a strong rapport and virtual working relationship.” He soon discovered that Patti’s memorabilia “captured candid moments of normalcy” in never-before-seen snapshots of such “rock ’n’ roll greats as the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and, most notably, the Beatles.”

“The first stirrings of the graphic look took shape in my head during my initial conversations with Tara,” says Steed. “She identified the key pieces of the collection that would tell the story. My task was to usher viewers into the wonder of this intimate collection yet preserve the dignity due those once-private moments.”


A worthy ambition, but in the harsh reality of TV deadlines, time is tight. “I literally started at the end of our phone call and worked 20-plus hours straight through delivering the final product the next afternoon,” Steed says. During that time he rapidly assembled a collage of disparate images and inspirations, working mostly in Photoshop and After Effects.

The ancient Polaroids favored “washed-out tones of brown, blues and purple which gave me a color palate,” Steed says. “I envisioned a trek through time using the photos, letters and iconic imagery from famous album artwork including the Fab Four on their Abbey Road album.” Steed likewise imitated the typefaces of those times, such as “traditional fonts from ’60s era posters and filigree and scroll banners from tattoo art.”

The resulting title graphic — and the series itself — was a resounding hit. In addition to the Promax Local Gold, Steed’s graphic won a Los Angeles area Emmy Award, as did the series itself for Best Multi-Report Live News Story. The series was also honored with awards from the LA Press Club and a Golden Mike from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

You can watch the Rock & Roll Treasures story by clicking here.


Market Share/PromaxBDA Gold salutes the best on-air promotion throughout North America, many of them winners of Local Awards from the PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas. Read other stories in the series here. Contributing Editor Arthur Greenwald, himself a veteran promotion manager, profiles these winning campaigns and the creative and strategic talent behind them. Want to suggest other future topic? Write to Arthur at [email protected]


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