Little Rock station moves to new facility, debuts new set

Little Rock, Arkansas‘ ABC affiliate left its historic downtown property in January 2023 in favor of a new facility.

KATV, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, had been using the former Worthen Bank Building for its newsroom, offices and studios for about 50 years. The building, located along the revitalized Main Street Corridor at Fourth and Main, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is eyed as future prime office space. 

With the move, KATV is broadcasting from a two-story building Sinclair bought about two years ago and has been working on converting to a modern broadcast facility.

Located in the Riverdale neighborhood, the new home of is a few miles northeast of downtown and the old newsroom.

The new location includes 22,000 square feet of space with a more typical office layout. As part of the move, the station debuted a new set along with new work and technical spaces. 

The new set was designed by Sinclair’s in-house scenic team led by Mark Nadeau and puts anchors in front of a large video panel flanked by a backlit monochromatic duratrans. 

The video installation here features a low-profile frame and is mounted on two vertical columns with a prominent base that sits in front of the primary scenery. 

Advertisement

Anchors sit at a small two-person desk fronted with seamless LED. Additional talent can stand on either end of the desk as needed.

Much of the set features internally lit columns and horizontal elements. Some of the vertical elements extend all the way to the top of the scenery, while the ones supporting the video wall end about halfway up the metallic header element with prominent uplighting that wraps most of the space.

The space also includes faux stacked stone elements, including a prominent segment between home base and the weather venue, which includes a similar rectangular presentation desk with integrated computer workstations and two side-by-side panels for displaying weather data and feeds.

On the opposite side of the studio are two additional venues, including one with a large video wall and another with a smaller freestanding screen.

In the studio, Telemetrics PT-LP-S5 Pan/Tilt heads are utilized with Cartoni camera pedestals and Tekskil prompters. Lighting gear is from Brightline with Sinclair handling the lighting design internally. 

As part of the move, the station also built out a new production control room for newscasts. A new newsroom was also built, as well as supporting offices.

When the move was initially announced, KATV management said that the old facility was creating roadblocks in “creative teamwork” between staffers and departments. 

As an homage to its bidding farewell to its old building, the station produced a documentary titled “4th and Main: Five Decades of Broadcast History,” that takes a look at its longtime home and its contribution to the Little Rock community.

Advertisement

The latest in design, production and engineering

Subscribe to NewscastStudio for the latest delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up for NewscastStudio's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest broadcast industry news to your inbox including new debuts, case studies, thought leadership and broadcast gear updates.