The BBC has appointed studio design specialist Jago Design to overhaul three of its prime-time news programmes – Newsnight, Working Lunch and children’s news bulletin, Newsround.
The consultancy was commissioned following a three-way pitch held in October. The sets, located in the same studio, will each be designed to share certain key elements and the redesign forms part of the organisation’s ‘value for money’ initiative, says Michael Kavanagh, head of presentations for BBC Television News.
The project is in the ‘very early stages’, but the sets are unlikely to be designed in a different and radical way ‘just for the sake of it’, explains Kavanagh. The team will work closely with BBC marketing departments to deliver a set that aligns appropriately with the programme and on-air channel, he adds.
Working Lunch, a business, consumer and personal finance show, and Newsnight, the weekday current affairs news programme, are both aired on BBC2. Newsround, the long-standing children’s daily news bulletin, is broadcast as part of Children’s BBC on BBC1.
The studio set designs are expected to be completed by May next year. Designer Chris Webster created the previous Newsnight and Working Lunch studio four years ago.
Newsroom set design has become increasingly important to broadcasters as technology evolves and the marketplace grows more crowded.
Simon Jago, founder of Jago Design, has worked extensively within the field, designing newsroom studios for Channel 4, ITV and BBC’s rolling news programme, BBC News 24.
‘Each set has its own brief and set of requirements. The rolling BBC News 24 is different to a bulletin news show, for example. There must be a number of various presentation positions to give the show energy and a potential flexibility,’ says Jago.
Currently, the consultancy is working on a ‘large international project’ for a major network and designing newsroom studios located in India and Eastern Europe, he adds.
Jago Design’s portfolio
• ITV regional news studios, in conjunction with Studio Output, to be completed 2006
• Channel 4, 2005
• BBC News 24, 2003
• ITV national news studio, 2003