It's not everyday that a Houston TV station gets a brand new building (including an ultra modern studio set and newsroom) so I'm back with this one post during my blog hiatus. My Facebook page and Twitter followers saw the above video first on Monday, and now I'm posting the photos here.
KPRC 2, the station we're talking about, invited me in last Friday to document the process as crews put the final touches on the studio and a few of the news personnel were moving into the new newsroom.
In fact, as you will see in the video, I caught main anchor Bill Balleza in the act of unpacking his belongings. I learned we both share a love of Dr Pepper 10.
"This is the fourth building that I've worked in in 46 years and the first brand new one," Balleza told mikemcguff.com.
PHOTOS: See pictures from inside the new KPRC building
The building sure has come along way since I gave you a tour of KPRC's new home under construction at the time back in January. Back then, general manager Jerry Martin, news director Dave Strickland and I had to wear hard hats just to take a tour.
Michael Wright, owner and creative director of WrightSet, designed the new studio set and Houston-based 2020 Exhibits had the job of building it.
The new set looks great in person, so I am excited about seeing it on TV. It's very futuristic with lots of giant monitors (including one that has an angle in the middle of it as it wraps around the wall), a movable monitor wall and lots of LED lighting.
"The statement that Graham's making and that Emily [Barr] (President & Chief Executive Officer of Graham Media Group) was making is Houston is a very important part of our station group," GM Martin told me in January. "And that they're investing in the future, and they believe in broadcasting."
The thing you will notice in the rest of the building is the amount of space. I've seen my fair share of TV stations and this is one of the few that doesn't feel cramped. The huge windows and sunlight shining through certainly helps. The overall design of the station is modern with a retro vibe running through it. And speaking of retro, channel 2 has lots of history as you know, and that will be featured in shelves and wall decorations.
The new studio should debut on the 4pm news this Thursday. The old building will eventually be torn down and become a parking lot.
"It was a great building, and I'm not trying to say anything about the architecture or this building, but it just doesn't lend itself to 2016 broadcasting," Martin admitted to me earlier this year. "So, normally I think what would've happened is we would've just rehabbed this building, done a serious rehab. And we looked at that. But at the end of the day, we ended up with, a better building, but not a great building. And when we looked at building one in our own parking lot and we did the math on it, the difference between rehabbing this one the correct way and a new building, it wasn't too much of a difference."
- FULL COVERAGE: New KPRC 2 studio building for 2017
- New KPRC building moves channel 2 into 21st century
- KPRC 2 to get a new station, plus secret of current building
- KPRC 2 new studio construction begins
ROCK 101 DOCUMENTARY UPDATE
Thanks for all the concern as to why I am not currently blogging. I appreciate the support. I'm taking a break to finish my Rock 101 KLOL documentary. My report on that is things are moving along. Gathering video to fill all the holes. Thanks to everyone who has helped out.