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KRDO expanding its Colorado Springs broadcast facilities

By: Katherine Blunt katherine.blunt@gazette.com
July 24, 2014 Updated: July 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm
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Like its competitors, another local television station plans to revamp its broadcast facilities.

KRDO/Channel 13, the ABC affiliate in Colorado Springs, has submitted a proposal to the city's Land Use Review Division to add about 3,060 square feet to its building at 399 S. 8th St. on the city's west side - roughly a 40 percent expansion.

The document states an addition would be made to KRDO's television studios, although general manager Tim Larson declined to elaborate on the station's plans.

KRDO will be the fourth local station to renovate or relocate in recent years as technology and consumer news preferences evolve.

Last summer, KXRM/Fox 21 added nearly 6,000 square feet to its location northwest of Platte Avenue and Wooten Road. The expansion provided the station with more workspace and a bigger studio.

In February, KKTV/Channel 11, a CBS affiliate, moved from a 30,000-square-foot space on North Nevada Avenue to an 8,000-square-foot space on East Colorado Avenue, on the east edge of downtown Colorado Springs.

Though the station downsized, the move allowed it to upgrade its technology, expand its control room and premiere a new set. It built open work stations in its newsroom that allow employees greater flexibility while producing content, said Liz Haltiwanger, KKTV's news director.

"Anyone can work from anywhere," Haltiwanger said. "I can sit down at any computer in the room and edit a newscast."

KOAA/Channel 5, an NBC affiliate, more than doubled the size of its Colorado Springs facility when it moved into a 25,000-square-foot building on Tech Center Drive earlier this year.

The station, which also maintains a broadcast facility in Pueblo, aired the first newscast from its new Springs location last month.

Its morning newscasts originate from Pueblo, while its afternoon, evening and nightly newscasts originate from Colorado Springs, said Sydney Rubin, marketing director for KOAA. Prior to its move, all of KOAA's newscasts originated from Pueblo. It recently renovated its facilities there, as well.

Evan Pappas, KOAA's president and general manager, said the station spent between $5 and $10 million to renovate its Pueblo bureau and outfit the Colorado Springs building to suit its needs in an industry that is growing more competitive in the digital era.

The Springs expansion allowed the station to debut a new set, improve its internal communications and sharpen its investigative focus, Pappas said. It added eight members to its news staff within the last year, bringing its total employees to 110.

"We're excited about running both buildings," he said. "We have almost a million people in our designated market area, and you want to make sure you're accurately covering that."

KRDO has newscasts between 4:30 and 7 a.m., as well as an hour-long newscast at noon, evening newscasts between 4 and 6:30 p.m., and a 10 p.m. nightly newscast. The station, owned by Missouri-based News Press & Gazette Co., also produces radio and Telemundo broadcasts.

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