Big changes continue at KCET in Los Angeles, which went independent from PBS on Jan. 1. Station execs told staff on Monday (June 21) that they’ll be moving next year from their longtime Sunset Boulevard home to a new 14-story office tower on Studio Row in Burbank, according to the Los Angeles Times. KCET sold its historic 4.5-acre studio lot to the Church of Scientology in April for $42 million (the paper reported in March that the property had been assessed at $14 million). KCET’s new home will be at the Pointe, completed in 2009 as part of the NBC campus. Terms of KCET’s lease were not disclosed, but real estate experts familiar with the Burbank market valued the 11-year deal at about $25 million.
“We had a very valuable piece of real estate that we felt made a lot of sense to monetize, because it was not an operationally efficient place to do business today in the changing media landscape,” Jerome told the newspaper. “You’ve got employees spread around several buildings. The spatial configurations were not right. We just felt really that we wanted to get into a brand-new facility that has open architecture that allows for a more collaborative and collegial work environment.”
KCET will downsize from about 105,000 square feet of studio and office spaceto more than 55,000 square feet over one-and-a-half stories in the Burbank location. There will be two production studios and nearly all new equipment.
The station has until late April to leave its current site, which it now rents from the church.