Usually in a new build they may do several weeks or even months of rehearsals (with or without talent) to work out the kinks. In the US some news sets sit idle for months while they’re rehearsing or they wait until something like sweeps or a major event such as the Super Bowl or the Oscars.
Just for comparsion - BBC Scotland's 'THE NINE' piloted from November 2018 before launching in February 2019.
I don't disagree with the point being made, but it's also worth considering that 'The Nine' was a new show, in a (somewhat) new studio, on a new channel. With Wales Today, the only new thing is the studio. Obviously they will want to do lots of testing to ensure that everything is right. However, it's not a new programme being developed from scratch, and the format and graphics will likely be remaining the same (although I do wonder if we'll see any changes to S4C Newyddion).
Yes, piloting takes several different forms depending on the circumstances.
Firstly there's actually getting a new studio and gallery to work. Places I've worked we've done a programme with a basic running order until something breaks, then you stop, fix it and then carry on until there's something you can't - a showstopper. Then you leave it to the system integrators to fix and have a cuppa. 'The Nine' will have skipped this bit, BBC Wales probably will have done more of this than anywhere else. Doesn't matter it looks like or who's sitting in the presenter chair, it's purely technical
Then there's piloting the programme - you know the studio works, what will the programme look and be like? This is when camera angles are discovered and standardised, decisions on where guests sit and stand up positions will be, how the presenters will work together, how the headline sequence will work etc. Basically deciding every element of the bulletin. BBC Wales wouldn't have done as much of this as BBC Scotland as the programmes are established
This gradually morphs into full piloting - with proper news and the actual presenters and reporters, doing bulletins as if they were on air. One launch I worked on was a building move like Cardiff - we'd do the 6:30 bulletin from the old place and then we'd do it all again in the new place at 7. The live reporters and crews stayed where they were for an extra half hour and did their lives again to a different presenter and gallery
Theres a lot more than just the studio to test of course, editing capacity and workflow fir example. In the above example it was a switch between linear and non linear editing so cut items were made at both sites and sent between them, gradually ramping up how many were made at the new building
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 25 August 2020 7:03am - 3 times in total