PLATTSBURGH — WPTZ started broadcasting out of South Burlington this week.
The Hearst-owned NBC affiliate has a new 27,000-square-foot studio there.
WPTZ/WNNE President and General Manager Justin Antoniotti said, prior to Tuesday, the station’s newscast production was out of its Plattsburgh office at 5 Television Drive.
“As we looked at this project, we relocated the technical core of the station into the new building,” Antoniotti said. “We needed to overhaul a lot of equipment.”
And, he added, though the news team remained unchanged, “we’re broadcasting from a new studio, on a new set and in high definition.”
News of the incoming WPTZ location came last June.
“This move entails shutting down our facility that we had in Colchester,” Antoniotti said.
That Vermont location had housed the news station since the mid-1990’s.
“We had really outgrown that space,” Antoniotti said. “There wasn’t any ability to expand in Colchester.”
The new South Burlington location is about double the former station’s size, he added.
“Our news studio, for example, is actually two-thirds larger than the studio that we have in Plattsburgh,” he said.
But coverage on this side of Lake Champlain isn’t going anywhere, Antoniotti said.
“We are still covering news on the New York side and always looking for ways to do it better,” he said. “WPTZ broadcasts to 17 counties, so, obviously New York, but also Vermont and New Hampshire.
“We’ve operated facilities outside of Plattsburgh for years.”
And, he added, the 5 Television Drive office is getting some work done of its own.
“Right now, what we’re doing is actually working on upgrading the Plattsburgh studio,” he said, “so we can broadcast out of that studio, as well.”
Those upgrades would put that operation in high definition and, though the project doesn’t have a solid timeline, Antoniotti said it will be done as soon as possible.
On top of a larger location, Antoniotti said WPTZ now has new equipment and technology in a new studio with new lighting.
“The beautiful views of New York, Vermont and New Hampshire were used as inspiration for our new news set, which includes a 20-foot video wall in addition to multiple story presentation areas,” Antoniotti said in a July 26 editorial.
There is a new First Alert Weather Center and added First Alert Traffic, the editorial said.
“It’s night and day,” Antoniotti told The Press-Republican. “I’m very proud with all of the work that was done to make this possible, but also of what our finished product looks like — it’s greatly enhanced.
“I look at this as an investment we’ve made to operate in this community and provide, frankly, a better news service and obviously better quality of entertainment with just a sharper picture on everything we do whether it’s entertainment, sports or news.”
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