Behind the scenes of KELO’s new studio


It’s been nearly one month since we unveiled our new state of the art studio that we’re broadcasting from right now.

From new lights to a new anchor desk to a gigantic video screen; even robotic cameras, it was a huge undertaking by our engineers and other departments to make the transformation that you see everyday.

“I think in back in the past, the anchor desk was where everything took place, but now we have the ability to use the full space to tell the story to show viewers what we’re doing. So we can showcase the content, and showcase with people sharing the content, like it’s a real improvement for the viewers,” KELOLAND News Director Beth Jensen said.

There are so many components to the new studio, we had to give each area of it specific names; that way producers, directors and the anchors are all on the same page when it comes to scripting specific shots.

This 30 foot video screen, made up of 21 individual monitors, we call the storyteller wall.

“I love the storyteller, I love all the things that we can do with that I love that we can show a video, graphics, we can put people in front of it, I just think it’s a great tool to show viewers and it’s fun to watch,” Jensen said.

This is what we call the triple stack. It’s 3 monitors tall by 3 monitors wide.

Of course this is the main anchor desk and right next to it, we call this area the explainer with yet another large monitor.

“I just love how modern it is, I think it puts us on the same level as really large cities around the country, and it just makes us feel like we’re really a bigger market,” Anchor Bridget Bennett said.

We also have robotic cameras that move across the floor when the director tells them to move.

“So, we save a shot, we can start the like point A, find the next shot point B, and then it gets there,” Director Nate Hanisch said.

This is the KELOLAND Live Doppler Storm Center where our team of meteorologists puts together the day’s forecast.

“Our weather operation represents more than a dozen computers, but we’re able to clean things up by using just a few monitors that handle multiple computers, so it’s much nicer to be in here it’s not as crowded, not as cramped,” Chief Meteorologist Jay Trobec said.

Our studio is also filled with lots of led lights. We had to rewire the entire studio in order to support them all.

In each area, our producers and directors can place all kinds of images in the monitors; typically they’re filled with a graphic or picture of the story we’re talking about or they can just have a picture of something that represents KELOLAND.

To give it even more of a local flavor, we added Sioux Quartzite on some of the pillars and etched Mount Rushmore and the Arc of Dreams into this glass panel.

“We were so lucky when we were given approval to get a new studio, and we were able to design it from scratch, So obviously, there were some best practices that other stations owned by Nexstar use around the country so we could use that kind of as a foundation. But then we were able to add touches that are very unique to Sioux Falls,” Jensen said.

“I’ve been in TV stations in New York City, all over Europe and our studio it’s nice. It’s as nice as anything I’ve ever been in” Trobec said.

“We have a sitting, we have a standing desk, we have many different things we can do here. It’s truly impressive and incredible to have it in Sioux Falls,” Bennett said.

“It’s fun for a news junkie like me, because I can watch CBS This Morning and I can see them swinging the cameras around or pull graphics out and roll video on a big block. We could do that let’s try that. We have no limitations here and so much fun,” Jensen said.

“I mean, before we were limited and now it’s like all open and before you could only show certain parts of the studio, you couldn’t pan across the entire thing, because we had like gaps between the sets. So now it’s like if you want to pan from that storyteller wall all the way to the three by three, you can do that,” Nate said.

One thing that hasn’t changed? Our commitment to keeping the public informed and safe.

“I don’t think it changes our approach to news, because I think content is what matters, I think, you know, local news local weather local sports, those are always going to be our priorities. I think the studio gives us way to show off what we’re doing and get credit for some of the things we been doing well for a long time,” Jensen said.

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