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Two Colorado Springs TV stations upgrade with with new buildings, equipment

February 14, 2014 Updated: February 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm
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photo - The production team prepares for the 4:30 p.m. newscast Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at the new KKTV studio in Colorado Springs. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
The production team prepares for the 4:30 p.m. newscast Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at the new KKTV studio in Colorado Springs. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

In a competitive TV news market with four local stations, two Colorado Springs broadcasters are raising the stakes by investing millions of dollars to purchase buildings, move their studios and upgrade their broadcast facilities.

KKTV Channel 11 officially moved into its new production facility on East Colorado Avenue on Feb. 8, said Nick Matesi, vice president and general manager. The broadcast company spent "a pretty good chunk of change" remodeling, upgrading and adding equipment to the building, Matesi said.

KKTV went from using four cameras in its former facility at North Nevada Avenue to using three programmable cameras that run on a track system throughout the news set.

"All the moves and shots are pre-programmed before the show," Matesi said. "You embed the shots into the run down, and the camera goes where it needs to go."

KKTV bought the building in September 2012 and began moving last September. Matesi said the decision was made to move rather than remodel the building that KKTV moved into in the mid-1960s because the company no longer needed such a big facility.

"When we first moved in there we needed that large space because technology took more space, and you built sets and props from wood," Matesi said.

The company's new building is wired so that everyone can share computerized digital production equipment and work together anywhere in the building on the same or separate projects at the same time.

Meantwhile, KOAA-TV Channel 5 expects to move its Colorado Springs news broadcast facility and administrative offices to 5520 Tech Center Drive, near the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, in April.

The locally owned broadcast company purchased the 25,000-square-foot building to replace the space it rents at 530 Communication Circle in Colorado Springs, said Evan Pappas, president and general manager. KOAA use video walls in its new facility to create virtual sets for news sports and weather.

KOAA will use robotic cameras to broadcast its news programs, he said.

Better technology in the new station also will allow KOAA to better integrate its newscasts with its station in Pueblo, Pappas said.

"We have always been able to do that, but we have been limited in Colorado Springs with it," Pappas said. Like many local markets with more than one TV station, the Colorado Springs market is highly competitive, and stations are constantly striving to be tops with viewers. In the fall Nielsen ratings period that ended in November, KKTV's 10 p.m. weeknight newscasts won the ratings war. KOAA came in second, followed by KRDO News Channel 13. KXRM Fox 21's weeknight news is at 9 p.m.

Matesi believes the move has positioned his company to better compete in the local news market well into the next decade.

"Because of the way the set is designed, it has an unlimited possibility of camera shots and graphics," he said. "We have a lot of flexibility."

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Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275

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