Inside WNET-TV/WLIW-TV’s new street side home

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TVNewsCheck.com gives the inside story on the new PBS studio in the heart of New York City:

Seth Easter, who designed the facility along with a + i Design, says his marching orders were clear: “It’s public television and they wanted to be seen by the public.”

After a year of planning and construction, WNET.org or Channel 13 as it is more commonly known around town, produced its first regularly scheduled program just last Friday, an installment of the nationally distributed Need to Know with co-anchors Alison Stewart and Jon Meacham

The facility is in the same building as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and the studio designers were able to visually integrate the two venues by framing the glass of the studio’s façade with the same reddish muirapiranaga wood as the concert hall.t was originally intended to be a book store, not a state-of-the-art TV production studio, says Easter. “When you’re looking for studio space, the thing you want is a live, open area with high ceilings, lots of power, lots of air conditioning and some sort of back-of-the-house space for everything that you need to keep the shows running.”

Flexibility is built into the design of the facility, Easter says. “At the push of a button, we can go from Need to Know to Sunday Arts. All that’s a matter of changing the colors in the light boxes and the content in the plasma screens and LED screens. The whole set takes on a different feel in a matter of minutes without having to build new scenery and load things in and load things out – things we have no room to store.”

Seth Easter has also worked on many other PBS set design projects and with ABC News on sets for “20/20” and “World News”.

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