NBC Universal is
putting Conan O'Brien's $50 million studio at Stage One on the Universal lot to
good use. The space will become a new state-of-the-art production facility for
NBC News' West Coast operations and O&O KNBC.
Stage One has been
empty since O'Brien decamped in January.
The plan to combine
West Coast news operations and KNBC under one roof is not new. Back in 2007,
NBCU announced that it would build a new facility at the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) subway station at Universal City.
But that plan was scrapped in favor of refitting Stage One.
Designs for the news
digs are currently underway with construction completion expected by mid-2012.
"This is a
significant investment in our West Coast news operations and ensures that the
incredibly talented teams at KNBC and LA's NBC News Bureau will have the latest
technologies and journalistic tools to continue doing what they do best," said Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC
Universal, in a statement.
The new 60,000
square foot facility will feature a two-story studio and an entirely digital
newsroom. A new five-story office building also will be retrofitted to house
the technical support and executive offices.
facility will be top notch -- consisting of the best technology, infrastructure
and people in the business," said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. "This move represents an extraordinary investment
in KNBC and NBC News LA -- two of the greatest franchises in broadcast history
-- soon to have a home befitting their extraordinary work."
KNBC is the West
Coast flagship of the 10 NBC owned-and-operated Local Media stations, producing
more than 30 hours a week of local news across its multiple platforms,
including the main broadcast channel 4, online at www.nbcla.com and on the digital channels 4.2 and
John Wallace, president
of NBC Local Media, added that facility "will
enhance their ability to create and produce quality local news and information
across all of the station's media platforms, expanding their content production
and further serving the LA community."