Rick Sanchez Reveals Secrets of the Success of WSVN’s Iconic ‘Newsplex’

By Mark Joyella 


According to a post on South Florida’s SFLTV, the iconic “Newsplex” set that has defined Miami station WSVN for decades, may be slated for a makeover:

The prevailing info we hear is that the revamp will be mostly cosmetic, similar to what Sunbeam did with its other station in Boston, WHDH, which just received a barely noticeable refresh with a darker red duratrans strip and some more monitors as backdrops on the second floor.

Sounds harmless enough. Until you hear this: “We’re kind of sad to report that there is a possibility the big wall of old CRT televisions, which have been there literally since the 1990s, will finally give way to big flat screens that will use software to simulate the tiny wall of TVs we’ve become used to seeing behind the anchors.”

Now hold on just one Newsplexing second. Nobody, and I mean nobody, should touch those monitors. They are the Newsplex. The multi-monitor news backdrop has been copied and copied, but have you ever noticed nothing quite looks like the original? We asked former WSVN anchor Rick Sanchez why the ‘Plex somehow can’t be copied.


“Those tiny monitors were one of the most brilliant tech looks ever,” Sanchez told TVSpy. “As I’d travel around the country, people would always ask about them and many tried to copy it.” Why has no station–even, to be honest, sister station WHDH–ever reproduced the look? Sanchez says it’s about the dimensions.

What they never realized was how small they were. Everybody got it wrong. They tried to re-create the look but their monitors were too big, therefore the ratio didn’t work and it made their sets look small. We looked bigger than life because the monitors were tiny. It served two purposes really. The first, as aforementioned was the ratio. The second, “frugality,” we got ‘em cheap. And to his credit, frugality, has always been (Sunbeam owner) Ed Ansin’s forte.

Sanchez says if the monitors go, someone might look for a large quantity of balled-up chewing gum he used to stick behind the CRT monitors before going live in the ‘Plex.

As for me, I’d hate to see them go. Like the teletype music bed for New York news radio station WINS, the look is a tie to the past that makes me happy. A monster vista wall wouldn’t be the same. If it goes, it should go directly to the Smithsonian.