In a surprise move, Fox announced Tuesday that KTTV will not move to the studio’s Century City lot when it abandons the Fox Television Center in Hollywood next year.
The TV station will instead leave its current 11-acre home insummer 1995 for an existing building on Bundy Drive north of Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles.
Fox TV Stations president Mitchell Stern said the stand-alone station, which will be fitted with all new equipment to avoid any interruption in service, is the best facility “for the time being.”
But Stern couldn’t say for certain whether KTTV’s new home — a three-story office building at 1993 Bundy Drive — will serve as a permanent or an interim site.
There was some speculation that Fox simply couldn’t build a new station on the West Pico Boulevard lot in Century City before its lease on the Hollywood site expires in November 1995.
Sources close to the company said Fox has been paying about $ 4.3 million annually to lease the Hollywood facilities over the past few years.
Metromedia, which previously owned KTTV, had been charging Fox $ 1.7 million. But Metromedia substantially raised the fee when Fox opted out of its lease, then pulled an about-face and renewed when earlier plans to move the station to Century City fell through.
In approving Fox’s $ 200 million redevelopment plan last June, the Los Angeles City Council permitted the company to relocate the station to the Pico lot.
But the addition of KTTV was a key reason the council added on a number of conditions requiring traffic mitigation improvements before building could take place.
A Fox spokeswoman said last month’s earthquake set back its plans slightly to begin “cosmetic improvements,” such as painting and landscaping. The groundwork is just beginning on improving the Pico entrance and constructing a 1,000-car structure near the commissary to handle the added traffic.
KTTV is the largest employer on the Hollywood lot, with about 250 of the nearly 320-person workforce.
Fox Tape and Fox Broadcasting Co. staffers now at the Fox Television Center are still scheduled to move to Century City.
No waivers needed
The new site for the station includes two levels of parking and will not require any waivers to change zoning ordinances, the Fox rep said.
A spokeswoman for L.A. City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, whose Westside district encompasses Fox, confirmed the city’s involvement in the project is over.