Rick Wells began his career at KOTV in October of 1989 but the building has been there much longer “it was an International Harvester dealership before it was a TV station, and that was in the 40’s” Rick said as we stood in a nearly empty studio.
And that old building has seen a lot more than just news “people remember Dance Party, wrestling, there were cooking shows all of that stuff and a lot of it was pioneering television back then” Rick reminded us.
And then there was the show that helped launch two Tulsa guys to Hollywood. It was Dr. Mazeppa Pompazoidi's Uncanny Film Festival & Camp Meeting.
Wells couldn’t walk through the old place without remembering some names “Clayton Vaughn, Lee Woodward, and Mack Creager” he began. Rick looked toward the ceiling and noted there are some whose memories will remain in those walls “I don’t know if you remember the Soap Swami (Paul Shushkewich) he was a camera guy, he died in this building one morning during the show, it was very tragic.”
Wells told us it was not easy for some to clean up their desks and move on. “There have been tears shed over this because for many people we’ve grown up here and gotten old here and this is all we’ve known.”
Rick told me as the desks were cleaned out there were some interesting things found. Lori Fullbright came up with a set of pink handcuffs and Terry Hood got a little something she could use. “She found a letter someone had sent her in 1995, she’d never opened it” Rick began. He laughed as he finished “she opened it up and there was a note in there and a five dollar bill, it said thanks for doing the news, here’s five bucks.”
Dan Potter and Denver Foxx checked out the new digs along with Travis Meyer.
The new home of The News on 6 is an amazing achievement of both art and science.
The architecture is ultra-modern and green.
Glass panels are used instead of walls so that every part of the building feels connected and open.
Even the high-tech, all-digital control room is wide-open to the newsroom.
6 geothermal wells will heat and cool the 57,000 square foot building.
All-LED lighting in the broadcast studios means the lights will give off very little heat.
News on 6 Meteorologist Travis Meyer says the station’s severe weather WARN Center is now a permanent part of the broadcast news set and not in a separate studio as it was in KOTV’s old facility.
And, Trav says, the WARN Center has been upgraded with the latest in hi-def forecasting technology.
The new WARN Center is also where Travis and his team will update KRMG listeners on severe weather as well as the daily forecast.
Travis says, “We’re pretty excited about what it will give us and what the viewers will get to see and feel like they’re a part of it.”
KOTV News Director Ron Harig adds, “As we’ve said often, it’s really about the people and the coverage. It’s nice to have a new building. But, nothing really changes as far as the coverage and our commitment to covering the news that matters to our viewers.”