With a Focus on Client Education, FX Design Group Re-Launches On-Line Resource - FX University (FXU)

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FX Design Group, the leading set design firm serving U.S. television news affiliates, has re-launched FX University (FXU) – a section of the FX website, where the main purpose is to make the complicated process of creating custom news environments less daunting for news stations, provide them with insight into the process, and point out potential pitfalls they should avoid. When it originally launched, it was the first educational/client self-help offering in the industry.

The FX team is excited to offer this free, interactive digital campus discussing all things set and newscast-related, from design to lighting and will eventually include topics on motion design and on-air graphics.

FX University (FXU), FX Design Group’s unique resource initially debuted in 2007, creating an easy-to-access educational tool for the television industry. At that time, the digital transition was looming. Much of the early content of FXU focused on digital and HD issues, such as the challenges with the new wider aspect ratio (16:9) and the fact that set and anchor imperfections would be more visible to the viewer. With How-To Guides and Industry Resource links as part of the FXU site, FX created a comprehensive source for news teams on subject matter ranging from sets and lighting, as well as quick links to Journalism sites and Broadcast Industry News.

With the ever-increasing stress on stations’ budgets, station teams now need even more information to make the right decisions. To help, FX is again offering that expertise with the re-launch of FXU. “The FX team is excited to offer this free, interactive digital campus discussing all things set and newscast-related, from design to lighting and will eventually include topics on motion design and on-air graphics” says Kathy Mosher-Boule’ VP of Business Development for FX Design Group.

The new site’s content features Case Studies covering FX project-specific challenges and resulting solutions, to assist stations in visualizing how to proactively solve their own problems. In addition these may help them gauge what other expertise they may need from an outside expert such as FX. Continues Mosher-Boule’ “Case studies can be a great catalyst in jump starting a station’s project team in the planning process, identify challenges they might not normally have considered, and can be invaluable in helping avoid pitfalls.”

FXU still contains Guides on topics such as Why Get a New Set and HD and Set Design. Since there are a significant number of stations in the U.S. – an estimated 40% - that have yet to convert to HD, the site offers information on the potential challenges of HD conversion as it pertains to sets, as well as lighting. As with the previous iteration of FXU, talent coaching and newscast pacing How-To Guides are available to help improve newscast content quality, alongside Guides to improve the visual aspects of a newscast.

For 2013, fresh content will be added on a regular basis. Future topics will include segments pulled from a 2008 research study on viewer preferences in HD, which FX conducted with Frank N. Magid Associates. As a follow up to this past study, FX will be unveiling a new research study again with Magid, so valuable content from this new study and additional Best Practices, will be posted on the site throughout 2013. The FX team will be conducting webinars during 2013, based on the new research results and other appropriate topics. The first webinar will be offered in mid-march and the subsequent webinar schedules will be posted on FXU with special access to FXU users.

Users can return as often as they like to download the Guides, Case Studies, Station Summaries, Best Practices and other new content as it is updated. The purpose of this wealth of free information is to provide knowledge about what works. “The FX team uses the tagline – we take the guesswork out of what works” says Mosher-Boule’. “We help stations ensure they are effectively targeting their capital” which is especially valuable in today’s budget-challenged climate. The information is free – subscribers will only need to register, in order to receive a “key” that gives them access to the interactive FXU Campus whenever they want. FXU topics include a Set Design Glossary, and a Link Library to Industry Resources as well as the following Web Guides: Anchoring Fundamentals, Co-Anchoring Fundamentals, HD and Set Design, Top 10 Things to Know Before Going HD, Why Get a New Set, and Set Design for Schools. FXU re-launched to the television industry public January 20, 2013.

FX Design Group is a design company delivering projects worldwide in broadcast for News, Talk Shows, Lifestyle, Sports and Entertainment programming. FX gives clients access to a complete complement of set design, motion graphic design and branding, fabrication and installation services, as well as lighting design and lighting gear – all from one source. The FX collaborative process focuses on creative synergy, versatility and logistical efficiencies to maximize clients’ budgets, aesthetics and multi-functionality. To learn more about FX Design Group please visit http://www.fxgroup.tv.

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Kathy Mosher Boule, VP Broadcast News Division
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