ABC11 quietly unveiled the expansion and renovation of its downtown Raleigh street-side studio several weeks ago on air, but the official ribbon-cutting and celebration came on Wednesday.
While the Disney-owned WTVD station still counts its home base as the Liberty Street newsroom in Durham, its Fayetteville Street studio in downtown Raleigh, which opened in 2005, has become more and more important over the years. (WTVD also has a studio in Fayetteville.)
This summer’s capital city expansion means ABC11’s entire morning news team was able to relocate from Durham to Raleigh.
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ABC11 president and general manager Caroline Welch said in a news release that as the seat of state government, Raleigh is the epicenter of news for the viewing area.
“Having our team start the day in the heart of downtown puts us in the best position to cover what matters most to our viewers.,” Welch said.
WTVD broadcasts the morning, noon, 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. newscasts from Raleigh. The 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newcasts come from Durham. The 10 p.m. newscast that airs on WLFL also comes from Durham.
Last November, ABC11 for the first time broadcast the Raleigh Christmas Parade, and they did it from right in front of their Fayetteville Street newsroom. The station recently signed a three-year contract with the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association to retain exclusive broadcast rights for the parade.
What else is new?
ABC11’s new studio upgrades include giant monitors for visual storytelling, and augmented reality features. There is also an interactive touchscreen in one of the studio windows out front.
The studio space is more flexible now, Welch said, to allow for guests and special programming. And it has modernized workspaces that let reporters and photographers plug in and work from anywhere.
The station will also soon implement a feature called Social Square, which is a space that will highlight social media conversations.
The News & Observer and ABC11 are reporting partners.