When it was time to design a next-generation set for Sinclair-owned WBFF Baltimore, Devlin Design Group looked back in history to draw from the red brick rowhouses that architecturally define the city. So while the technology that underpins the set is as advanced that it gets, the set still looks and feels like home to viewers.
Surrounded by the red brick accents are many new LED screens throughout the semi-circular set, which includes the main news desk as well as weather and traffic. Three LED arrays light up behind the main desk and feature the latest in video technology. There also is a large storytelling wall that includes fourteen monitors configured in a 7 x 2 array. Another multipurpose area offers three 75-inch portrait monitors to tell more intimate stories. Moving over to the weather desk reveals another 4 x 2 array of screens. And finally the lifestyle set has three 75-inch monitors of its own.
The new set also includes a new weather system and a traffic system that predicts upcoming traffic patterns, with both segments airing on much larger, more advanced screens.
Woven in with all of the technology are some more design touches that are meant to keep viewers rooted in Baltimore. The colors of both the Maryland State and Baltimore City flags are incorporated into the design. Vertical bars that appear in color-changing backlit walls represent the Calvert family name of the Lords of Baltimore who founded Maryland in the 1600s. The cross bottony symbol — which looks like a square cross with each end crowned with a three of clubs — appears in hanging etched-glass panels around the studio, representing the family of Lord Baltimore’s mother, the Crosslands.
Drawing from more modern-day history, the set valance features artistic interpretations of electrical analog symbols in honor of Sinclair’s founder, Julian Sinclair Smith, who began his career as an electrical engineer.
“Sinclair Broadcast Group has been at the forefront of industry-changing events and technological advances. For our ‘home office’ we had to have a high-tech information hub for WBFF’s dynamic news operation. Team DDG delivered a design that energizes the entire staff and serves the community. The historic touches throughout the set honor the heritage of Baltimore and our founder,” said Mark Nadeau, director of TV production, Sinclair Broadcast Group, in a statement.
WBFF began broadcasting in Baltimore in 1991.