After nearly 50 years in Hollywood, KCET has moved to Burbank, headquartered at The Pointe building right next to NBC in the heart of the media district. Last week the occasion was marked by a “welcome to the neighborhood” reception and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with KCET executives and local dignitaries.
Most notable about the event was the extraordinary amount of sincere pride on the faces of everyone in attendance, from the head of the community-friendly station Al Jerome, to the familiar faces of Socal Connected’s Val Zavala and LA Tonight’s Roy Firestone.
Naturally, the Mayor of Burbank, Jess Talamantes, was beaming when he gave a short speech noting, “We’re thrilled to have the nation’s largest independent public television station serving southern and central California make its home with us. They could not have chosen a better location than the media capital of the world, which is Burbank, and the new state-of-the-art Pointe building.”
Representing The Pointe, Jeff Worthe, president of Worthe Real Estate said, “It’s been a friendship since the beginning. This is exactly the type of tenant we built this facility for and so we want to welcome them and thank everybody who’s been involved with bringing them into our family.”
KCET president and CEO Al Jerome thanked everyone “for coming to help us celebrate. About a year ago, we began working with a great team scouring the vast territory of L.A. county for a new place to hang our shingle— more accurately, our satellites. One of the places we looked at was the NBC lot, where several of us had spent time earlier in our careers. That’s where we met Jeff Worthe, who said ‘why don’t you coming over and look at The Pointe?’ It was love at first sight, but there were many considerations. We wanted our new home to allow us to continue to grow technologically, given the rapid pace of change in the media today. We wanted to be near the heart of the creative community in Southern California so we could easily scheme a bunch of new partnerships for local production and community services. And finally, we wanted our new home to allow our employees to enjoy a more open work environment.”
Jerome went on to praise Worthe and his team, “who helped us make a very tough decision” regarding the big move. And Gary Olson, president and CEO of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce was acknowledged “for being very instrumental in planning this celebration.” Olson was gushing, “It’s a glorious day in Burbank. KCET is adding to the luster of our entertainment sector here in Burbank. Without a doubt, the chief economic engine for Burbank is entertainment.”
After the ribbon-cutting, tours of the new studio facilities were conducted. And Val Zavala was happy to include a demonstration of the new virtual reality set. Jerome said the station is “outfitted with brand new equipment, state-of-the-art technology, and a cost-efficient new media environment.” Gordon Bell, KCET’s senior vice president of operations and engineering, led the relocation efforts to The Pointe. Entertainment tenants in the building include Warner Bros., DC Comics, and Outlook Amusements.
KCET, which broke away from the PBS stations in January, will have television production and broadcasting from the new facilities. Jerome said, “As the largest independent station serving Southern California, this move solidifies our commitment to continue to serve as the primary public media voice in our region and give our viewers a fresh take on local news, information, and the arts.”
On June 16, the station will host a special open house for KCET supporters and the community.