It’s closing in on a year since WABC/Channel 7 moved to new studios at the other side of its Upper West Side building. FishbowlNY was granted access recently to tour the operation with video and photos.
Regular viewers already know the new look is fan-friendly. Taking a page from the network morning news’ playbook, the studio is at street level on the corner of Columbus Avenue and West 66th Street. A window gives passersby a look of the studio, even when live on-air. The talent can also see foot and vehicular traffic. When needed, though, the black curtain can be drawn for intimacy.
But wanting the daytime, New York City feel during the live newscast was a key ingredient to breaking ground. Therefore, at times, sunlight reflects directly onto the anchors. The veteran anchors, though, have not been distracted as they keep their focus on the camera and teleprompter. While locked into the live newscast, that doesn’t mean they loosen the occasional knot in the tie. For example, a couple of months ago a touch of Hollywood came to WABC, and lead anchor Bill Ritter tweeted his followers.
“woody harrelson just came by our studio window to wave hello. c’mon… how cool is that?”