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Dec 17, 2001  •  Post A Comment

KNSD-TV opens street-level studio
NBC-owned KNSD-TV, San Diego, began broadcasting its newscasts last week from a new facility-a glass-enclosed street-level studio in the heart of downtown near the historic Horton Plaza Fountain. Construction on the studio began this summer in the former home of a Home Savings Bank. It is now a 13,950-square-foot television studio and newsroom.
Last week was a soft launch, without heavy promotion, to make sure the glitches were worked out. “This incredible facility provides us with a new level of interactivity with our audience,” said KNSD General Manager Phyllis Schwartz. Ms. Schwartz proposed the idea to NBC corporate of moving the station downtown about 20 months ago.
“Like the `Today’ show window on the world, this landmark facility provides a signature that is distinctively NBC,” said NBC Television Stations President Jay Ireland.
The studio is surrounded on three sides by glass. The anchor desk is flanked by three 16-inch-by-9-inch plasma screens that are used during the broadcasts. The custom news set was designed by the Express Group of San Diego. Santa Monica-based architectural firm Rock Architects designed the interior of the new facility.
Hook, line and sinker in Syracuse
The WTVH Ultimate Fishing Challenge derby [Electronic Media Jan. 8, 2001], sponsored by CBS affiliate WTVH-TV, Syracuse, N.Y., that drew Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and New York Gov. George Pataki, now has the city’s taxpayers footing the bill for about $86,500 in security and emergency services for the event. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, then-Mayor Roy Bernardi had an unwritten agreement with WTVH-before he left in July to become assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-that the city would provide free police and fire protection. While WTVH pledged $75,000 over three years to the Clinton Square restoration project, that was not part of the deal for free police and emergency services at the fishing derby.
The first-of-its-kind derby was intended to boost the city’s economy. “[WTVH] were good corporate citizens, and we gave them the support they needed,” said Joe Nicolleti, who was Mr. Bernardi’s former director of operations.
Milwaukee station chopper crashes
A helicopter working for ABC affiliate WISN-TV, Milwaukee, crashed last Wednesday onto Interstate 43 southwest of Milwaukee during rush-hour traffic. Pilot John Michael Wilson was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The accident occurred at 6:20 p.m. in rainy and foggy weather. Five cars crashed when drivers tried to avoid the chopper. Four motorists were taken to a nearby hospital. Moments before, Mr. Wilson had dropped off traffic reporter Matt Salemme at the station after covering a major warehouse fire. Mr. Wilson was on his way back to the hangar in East Troy, Wis., which is the same area where a 1990 helicopter crash killed musician Stevie Ray Vaughan. WISN leases the chopper from Metro Traffic. Mr. Wilson was one of three pilots employed by Metro Traffic that the station uses.
A WISN crew was on the scene, and the crash became the top story on the 10 p.m. news in Milwaukee that night. The accident is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. According to Waukesha County Sheriff’s Lt. Karen Ruff, the weather may have been a factor. “Visibility could have been a problem,” Ms. Ruff said.
PBS to air documentary on news women
“She Says: Women in News,” a one-hour documentary focusing on 10 women in positions of power in news, will air at 9 p.m. (ET) Tuesday, Dec. 18, on PBS. The documentary includes segments on ABC News anchor Carole Simpson; Helen Thomas, dean of the White House press corps; NPR’s Nina Totenberg; CNN anchor Judy Woodruff; Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen; and KNBC-TV, General Manager Paula Madison. The execs weigh in on the news business and how women’s sensibilities have helped change newsroom culture and news coverage.