Behind-the-scenes improvements coming to KTVO News

Those of you at home will soon see a crisper, clearer picture when watching KTVO's local newscasts. (John Garlock/KTVO)

Big changes are underway at KTVO, and all of you watching at home will soon see what we mean.

The planning has been underway for at least a year.

Our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, has doled out $1.5 million to bring you a brighter, crisper, clearer picture as you watch KTVO’s local newscasts.

KTVO-TV has come a long way since its humble beginnings in November 1955. A lot has changed in those nearly 63 years, from technology and logos to personnel and news sets. Now, another major transformation is coming.

"This is a very exciting project,” said Matt Dawson, KTVO director of operations and engineering. “This is a huge step in the next generation of KTVO."

Dawson has played a key role in the evolution of our newscasts from analog to high definition. Viewers will definitely notice the improvements.

"You're going to see a huge increase in quality," said Jim Wright, Sinclair Broadcast Group regional engineering manager, who has been overseeing this entire project.

"They're going to see a very dramatic difference," Dawson said.

Our most recent news set is now a thing of the past. Crews took hammers and saws to it last week and demolished it. Our main studio looks like a disaster area right now, but it is being replaced by something much, much nicer.

"In the studio, we'll have an all-new set, all-new lights, and it'll be beautiful," Wright said.

While KTVO’s news studio is undergoing its transformation, we are broadcasting our news from a temporary set in the station's conference room. It's a little cramped, but we won't be in there that long.

Dawson said he is getting excited to see the big improvement in the broadcast quality of KTVO's local newscasts.

“We're not oblivious to the way that KTVO looks now and how antiquated it looks," Dawson said.

Technological upgrades cost a lot of money: $1.5 million in our case.

"We've had to build new walls, build a whole new control room, all-new equipment,” Wright said. “Everything, almost everything, is new. New cameras."

And not just one or two cameras like we currently have in the studio. KTVO’s anchors will soon be sitting in front of four, state-of-the-art, robotic cameras.

"It's been a long process, but we're getting really, really close to seeing that process come to a close," Dawson said.

Wright said KTVO’s new set is arriving on Monday, February 19, 2018. He said it will take about a week to install.

Then, after some time for rehearsals, you should be seeing us broadcast from our new-and-improved studio in early March, if all goes according to plan.

Our news set in our Ottumwa studio is also being replaced with a brand-new set. That set is used for KTVO News at 6:30.

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