New-look Scotland Today expected to be warmly greeted, even by avid fans of old

STATE-of-the-art technology at stv’s new headquarters will set the standard for UK broadcasting, according to the TV station. New equipment at its new Pacific Quay offices in Glasgow allows tapeless production with all editing suites in the building operating on a tape-free and purely digital basis.

The man behind the broadcaster’s move from their old Cowcaddens, project director, Tom Gallagher, says the system, made by Avid, is “probably the only one being used in the UK”.

Gordon Macmillan, head of News and Current Affairs for stv in Glasgow, confirms that his employer is leading the way when it comes to new technology: “We really haven’t brought anything from the old building.

“Everything you see is new, almost just out of the box. The technology we have here is only just being taken on elsewhere. We’ve been contacted by ITV regions down south who are exploring the possibilities of using the Avid system.”

stv will complete its move to Pacific Quay this weekend with the last 80 employees packing up their desks from their old Cowcaddens office.

Flagship news show, Scotland Today, will broadcast live from Pacific Quay for the first time on Monday, sporting a brand new look to match its shiny new home.

New technology is also the centrepiece of the programme’s makeover which was unveiled yesterday.
Highlights of the new look include a projection screen behind the newsreader’s desk replacing the current 42-inch plasma screen and will be used to link those in the studio up with more live, outside broadcasting.

Inside the studio, designed by stv itself, there are five cameras. Another six are positioned throughout the building with one in the newsroom and another on the roof – though this is yet to be approved by Health and Safety inspectors.

The show is being relaunched along with sister programme, North Tonight, based in Aberdeen, as part of the broadcaster’s recent rebranding and to create “a consistent identity across the station”.

But despite the changes, Macmillan says that the show has held on to the best bits of its old format: “We needed to change, but we’re also aware of our legacy. We’ve kept the best of what we do and what our viewers liked.

“New technology allows for more complicated and interactive programmes, but we haven’t forgotten that Scotland Today relies on good storytelling.

“In broadcasting, you can’t stand still, but it is a question of how you use that technology efficiently. What the new equipment and premises allows us to do is offer a more polished look. Audiences see what other people are doing and we are measured against this. It’s important that you shouldn’t see the join between Scottish and UK-wide programmes and our new technology allows us to manage this.”