CBS Television City would lose some of its most prestigious citizens if the Eye moves forward with a plan to relocate its West Coast headquarters to Studio City, Calif.
Net has drawn up blueprints for a three-story office center/broadcast studio to be built on the CBS Radford lot. New building would house roughly 650 employees of CBS Entertainment and Eye-owned KCBS and KCAL.
Eye department heads have been briefed on the possible move, and on Tuesday, Michael Klausman — who manages CBS Radford — presented an updated plan for the project at the general membership meeting of the Studio City Residents Assn.
Idea for the building was first presented to the SCRA more than a year ago, but until recently, it was expected the possible structure would simply house KCBS and KCAL.
If CBS Entertainment makes the move as well, it would be the last of the Big Three webs to travel over the hill and set up shop in the San Fernando Valley.
But it’s far from certain CBS chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves will soon be dining at Art’s Deli rather than Campanile.
“The plans are very preliminary and the move may not happen,” a source close to the network said Thursday.
Indeed, top CBS and Viacom brass have not signed off on the Radford plan.
While the network has made extensive proposals and industry insiders note that the Eye could be covering its bases by getting its potential Studio City neighbors on board early in the event it persues a move.
Company is also exploring other options, including moving the KCBS/KCAL duopoly — now housed in the Columbia Square facility in Hollywood — into an existing structure in L.A. Under that scenario, CBS Entertainment would likely stay put in TV City.
Spokesman for CBS and KCBS/KCAL decline comment.
Tales of the tape
If the network does move, it’s unclear what would happen to the shows that currently tape at Television City, including “The Price Is Right,” “Late Late Show,” “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and The Beautiful.”
Television City has separate studio and office space, so production could continue on the two soundstages, with CBS leasing out the office space.
Facility, which opened in 1952, is a historic landmark that’s played host to some of TV’s most legendary skeins, from “The Carol Burnett Show” to “The Twilight Zone.” Fox’s “American Idol” currently broadcasts from TV City.
Eye could make a bundle of coin by selling or leasing any or all of TV City. Facility is located in the Fairfax District, which has become one of L.A.’s hotter neighborhoods since the opening of the Grove shopping center.
Indeed, it’s not hard to imagine Grove owner Rick Caruso expanding the Grove if TV City suddenly became available — though such a scenario is simply pie-in-the-sky speculation at this point.
If CBS opts for the move, and Studio City officials approve the expansion, Klausman told SCRA members that construction would likely start in October or November, with an approximate construction time of 18 months, according to the SCRA’s Web site.
Eye is also proposing a five-story parking garage on the lot to accommodate the new employees.
Move would have plenty of positives for CBS.
Net would be closer to most of its talent, since a big chunk of primetime skeins shoot in Burbank, just minutes from Studio City.
And while TV City is part of TV history, the building is showing its age, lacking many of the modern comforts of newer buildings such as ABC’s recently built Riverside complex.