MIAMI — NBC’s South Florida station WTVJ, forced to relocate from its downtown Miami home, is to build a $20 million facility in Miramar, Fla.
Branded as NBC 6, the channel has broadcast from an old movie palace since 1949, but that land has been requisitioned for a courthouse annex.
WTVJ, which ranked third in the May sweeps behind Univision O&O WLTV and ABC affil WPLG, will give Broward County (pop. 1.4 million) its first TV station.
“The current building is as inefficient as it could possibly be,” said WTVJ manager Don Browne, referring to the current three-floor layout. “We’re moving into the digital age, and key departments need to interact in the same work area.”
WTVJ will also construct a news outlet in Miami, alongside either a slated arena for the NBA’s Miami Heat or a pending performing arts center.
Station’s move north deals a blow to a planned $60 million studio, the Miami Communications & Media Center, whose backers gained development rights for three city blocks in May.
Investors, backed by Massachusetts-based developer Arthur J. Halleran, hoped WTVJ would anchor a 500,000 square-foot TV and film campus, with five studios catering to third parties.
But Seth Gordon of PR firm CitiGate, Gordon, Diaz-Balart and a partner in the project, said talks continue with other prospective clients.
Incentives offered by Miramar, located halfway between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, reportedly far exceeded those offered by deficit-stricken Miami.