Studio Launch Caps Year-Long Network Transformation, Including New Newsroom, Upgraded Equipment and Technology and More Live News

NEWTON, MA – (February 12, 2015) – NBCUniversal-owned necn, the nation’s largest regional news network, officially unveiled its brand new, state-of-the-art studio to viewers, capping a year-long transformation at the network that also includes a brighter and more modern newsroom, upgraded tools and technology and a new focus on breaking news and weather coverage.

“Over the last year, necn has gone through a complete revitalization with one goal in mind – to bring our viewers across New England the best breaking news and weather coverage possible,” said Mike St. Peter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of necn, who joined the network just over a year ago and is leading its transformation thanks to a significant investment from NBCUniversal. “Now that much of our work is complete, we invite all New Englanders to tune into the new necn to see our in-depth reporting on the local stories that are matter most to them.”

The dynamic, multi-purpose new studio – home to necn’s nearly 70 hours of live programming each week – now opens into the network’s redesigned newsroom, fostering a spirit of collaboration among the entire news team and improving the flow of information at all stages of the newsgathering process. The new studio offers the following features:

  • A total of 46 high-definition monitors clustered in multiple locations throughout the studio, including 18 screens that are mounted to create a “video corner,” which will enhance visual storytelling during major news events;
  • A “working” Weather Center where the network’s “Early Warning Weather” team of meteorologists will both prepare and deliver their forecasts for all of New England, including a 10-day forecast every weekday morning so local viewers can get ready for any upcoming storms or inclement weather;
  • A rotating anchor desk that will offer flexibility during live newscasts throughout the day;
  • An interactive screen that will serve as a “giant iPad” for journalists during their reports; and
  • A newly designed interview space for one-on-one in-depth interviews.

The network’s recently renovated newsroom, which is now combined with the studio to create a much larger open space, also includes new on-air locations, such as a live spot at the Assignment Desk so viewers can witness the newsgathering process as it develops. Additionally, the updated newsroom integrates the digital team seamlessly into ongoing newsgathering operations, prioritizing the multi-platform approach so New Englanders can access news updates as they happen.

In addition, necn has benefitted from the following investments over the last year to strengthen the network, including:

  • Hiring a seasoned news management team, including News Director Kenny Plotnik and Assistant News Director Ben Dobson, who collectively bring more than a half century of journalism experience to the network;
  • Boosting live news coverage, growing from nine hours each weekday to a minimum of 12.5 hours, with a renewed focus on delivering the best breaking news and weather coverage to the market;
  • Investing in new equipment, such as a new satellite truck and new cameras, including backpack units to give journalists more flexibility in their reporting;
  • Upgrading technology to enhance and accelerate newsgathering, including cloud-based transmission of video and Internet software based scanner technology;
  • Re-establishing necn’s New Hampshire bureau;
  • Introducing a news app to deliver consumers the information they need on the go from their smartphone or tablet with an easy to navigate design; and
  • Launching a new graphics package with a sleek, modern design and integrating new music into the newscasts.

About necn
Owned by NBCUniversal, necn is the largest 24-hour regional news network in the U.S. Since its launch on March 2, 1992, necn has grown to include 3.6 million subscribers in more than 1,050 cities and towns throughout all six New England states. Necn has established itself as an industry leader and as the only regional news network of its kind to earn a George Foster Peabody Award and the Alfred I. duPont – Columbia University Broadcast Journalism Award, among many other accolades.


Susan Pascal