Friday, September 28, 2018

KHOU Avenida Studio in downtown Houston debuts

I'm not totally crazy, that is a new KHOU 11 logo we see on the new studio.

With little fanfare, channel 11 quietly debuts new KHOU Avenida Studio in downtown Houston

If you blinked Friday afternoon during channel 11's 4pm newscast, then you might have missed the debut of the TEGNA station's promised KHOU Avenida Studio in downtown Houston.

Consumer reporter Tiffany Craig performed the first live shot from the new downtown studio where she reported on the Tiger Wrench.

The new satellite studio gets its name from the fact it's located inside the George R. Brown Convention Center and overlooking the newly minted Avenida Houston district. In fact you'll probably catch a glimpse of the famous Jean Dubuffet sculpture Monument au Fantôme behind the anchors on the grounds of Discovery Green.

Complete with wooden looking floors and a nice rug where the anchor desk sits, lights, cameras with teleprompters - the studio opens directly into the GRB's lobby where you will notice a nice KHOU 11 mural. No expo will be safe from KHOU's cameras from now on.

Now this is not the station's new home after Hurricane Harvey's destruction. The new KHOU main studios will be 5718 Westheimer coming later this year. Currently the KHOU staff is working from the studios of Houston Public Media's KUHT TV8.

The KHOU Avenida Studio is a roughly 780-square-feet expansion studio the Houston CBS affiliate announced last December. It's small and only holds around eight or nine people according to Craig's Facebook Live from the scene.

In a KHOU announcement about the new studio from 2017, the station said the new studio would be used several times a week on its newscasts, Great Day Houston and other KHOU-produced programming and specials.

I have to wonder if we'll see the station's newly re-branded morning news "H-Town Rush" broadcasting from downtown just like sister station WFAA does from Victory Park in Dallas? If you see a creepy guy in the background behind the anchors being escorted away by police, that will be me. I'm going to try to convince CultureMap's Ken Hoffman to join me if the station doesn't immediately press charges the first time.

The KHOU mural inside the GRB lobby is not the only art the station has brought to its new digs. You will also find the perfect place to take a selfie for Instagram right outside on the street by three newly designed murals. One depicts Houston monuments complete with a KHOU live truck (did not see a representation of Dejero or LiveU units), another a downtown Houston skyline and a third displays a big KHOU 11 Stands for Houston image.

If you don't feel like a Kardashian at the moment, you can simply watch KHOU on an outside monitor. Heck, use that for a selfie later!

It's all conveniently located in walking distance from the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park with BBVA Compass Stadium not too far away under I-69/HWY 59.

According to the station's original press release, the new studio was slated to open in March of 2018.

Behind the scenes tour on Facebook Live:

History in the making - the first live shot from KHOU Avenida Studio:

(Thanks Robin!)

UPDATE October 1, 2018

PRESS RELEASE: KHOU Opens New Downtown Avenida Houston Studio

HOUSTON, TX – KHOU, the TEGNA owned CBS affiliate announced today the opening of its new satellite studio on the Avenida Houston Plaza. KHOU will use the studio multiple times per week to broadcast across all dayparts, including KHOU 11 News, Great Day Houston and other KHOU-produced programming and specials.

“Thanks to our partnership with Houston First, KHOU is now the only local station with a dedicated studio in the heart of downtown Houston. Our Avenida Studio allows us to better serve our audience with original, innovative and entertaining content,” said Susan McEldoon president and GM, KHOU. “We will be right in the thick of the action when the Astros and Rockets play their home games, plus we’ll have easy access to cover all of the great programs and events at Discovery Green Park.”

At roughly 780-square-feet, the KHOU Avenida Studio is situated across from what are some of the most scenic views in the convention district. The new studio will have the flexibility to open on to the plaza, enabling anchors and reporters to directly engage with the public and be at the center of major events happening in downtown Houston.

“When Houston First developed Avenida Houston, the vision was to create an area that would serve as the center of entertainment in downtown,” said Brenda Bazan president and CEO, Houston First. “The heart of the campus is the Avenida Plaza, which in addition to dining, nightlife and inspiring art installations, is now home to KHOU’s Avenida Studio. We could not be more excited.”

KHOU’s Avenida Studio also showcases murals by local artists Lauren Luna and Jose Arredondo, aka Meenr_One. The murals can be found on the front windows of the studio and on the interior walls of the George R. Brown Convention Center.

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