You may have seen my story about two news operations moving into downtown Akron here. In addition, there's an official anouncement today, which I have posted after the jump.
PBS 45 & 49 and 89.7 WKSU will join
Cleveland-based NBC affiliate WKYC (channel 3) in group-leasing the ground-level
broadcasting studios of downtown Akron’s United Building. The building is owned
by the City of Akron.
PBS 45 & 49, the only broadcast television station that spans the entire
northeast Ohio region, utilizes various production studios throughout the region.
WKSU, which broadcasts NPR news, classical and folk music and public radio
entertainment programming to 22 counties in Northeast Ohio, will house an Akron
news bureau in the facility. The radio station currently operates satellite bureaus in
Cleveland and Canton, along with WKSU’s main studios on the campus of Kent
State University. PBS 45 & 49 will also move some of its production operations to
the Akron site that it will designate as the Western Reserve Broadcast Hub.
WKYC has occupied the highly visible space on the corner of Market and Main
since 2001, broadcasting nightly local newscasts aimed at the Akron and Canton
markets — originally over the air on PAX 23, and more recently on Time-Warner
Cable’s Channel 23. When WKYC announced plans to terminate the nightly
newscasts on Channel 23 as of May 30, PBS 45 & 49 President and CEO Trina
Cutter and WKSU Executive Director and General Manager Al Bartholet came
together with an offer to sublease the United Building’s studio space.
The WKYC/PBS 45 & 49/WKSU agreement includes provisions that will allow reporter/newscast anchor
Eric Mansfield and a small camera crew to share the space in order to continue reporting Akron-area news on
WKYC. Mansfield is familiar to the PBS 45 & 49 audience as host of the station’s “NewsNight Akron” news
program, which airs on Fridays at 9 p.m. The program will begin production at the Akron studio in July.
Cutter said, “The area surrounding the United Building is a center for creativity with White Space Creative,
the Mocha Maiden and Musica Bar. It’s the perfect place for a television studio. I look forward to the day when
downtown Akron is a television production hub for the entire northeast Ohio region.”
Bartholet added, “We are very happy to be able to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Maintaining
production facilities in WKYC’s United Building studios will allow WKSU’s award-winning news staff quick and
easy access to the tools they need to create Akron-based stories as news breaks. This development will allow
WKSU to become more integrated in the Akron community.”