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KHOU Building Flooded

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I wonder if any of the other stations in town have the capacity to lease space to KHOU, similar to how KRON leases space from KGO. Obviously KIAH is the first that comes to mind since NewsFix probably uses a fraction of the space in their building. :rolleyes:

 

I'm watching the live stream and they seem to have a handle on controlling the WFAA weather computers. Are they controlling them locally via iPad (WSI has a feature) or is someone listening at WFAA?

 

Also, will TEGNA offer their employees the option to transfer to other stations rather than rebuild? I seem to remember a few companies in New Orleans allowed employees to move to other stations.

 

It was mentioned on the stream that someone at WFAA is running the computer.

 

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Just for fun, a writeup on the KHOU Building with a picture of the lobby as it was in the 60's. From the American Radio History archives of "Television" magazine, June 1964.

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How's the WFAA signal and the WUHT signal is arriving at the KHOU tower? Is it uplinked via satellite, fiber or possibly a STL at KUHT?

 

I’m strictly assuming here, but because of the earlier rain fade problems WFAA had with receiving the KHOU signal from WUHT, I’d lean strongly towards it being a satellite uplink from WUHT to WFAA.

 

And since there were no issues on our end from receiving the signal from WFAA, it had to be either fiber or STL.

 

EDIT: Here’s a tweet I picked up the KHOU Assistant ND retweeted from one of his reporters showing just how much water is around (and frankly, in) their facility:

 

[MEDIA=twitter]901873396857884672[/MEDIA]

 

For comparison sake, check out this photo just how close the studio and main facility is to, what is essentially on any other day, a creek:

 

[MEDIA=twitter]902067722510417920[/MEDIA]

 

There is also more water that will flow down stream as well in the next 12-24 hours because they are about to release some of the water being held by the ACOE dams/reservoirs north of town, so it’ll only get worse.

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I'm watching the live stream and they seem to have a handle on controlling the WFAA weather computers. Are they controlling them locally via iPad (WSI has a feature) or is someone listening at WFAA?

 

Also, will TEGNA offer their employees the option to transfer to other stations rather than rebuild? I seem to remember a few companies in New Orleans allowed employees to move to other stations.

Won't know for a bit..I know emmis did in Nola with wvue. More than likely someone is listening.. There were no iPads there in the studio

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sounds like wfaa got tired of dealing with khou and handed off production to kusa...

 

except the youtube stream is just showing the raw feed from kuht... and the facebook stream is showing wfaa... "take a look at these weather graphics from kusa" but it's just a shot of the talent lounging around at the desk...

 

only ota viewers have the right feed...

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I wonder if any of the other stations in town have the capacity to lease space to KHOU, similar to how KRON leases space from KGO. Obviously KIAH is the first that comes to mind since NewsFix probably uses a fraction of the space in their building. .

 

None of the other Houston stations have enough space to share. KPRC's new building is smaller than its previous one. KTRK is about right sized for its needs. While KIAH does have room to spare, it wouldn't be enough. Nor would their technical plant or parking accommodate a large tenant.

 

For the interim, KHOU could explore a couple of options:

- Move news, technical and studio facilities to an empty retail space; and put sales, traffic and business offices in rented office building space nearby. The news space can work with something such as an empty car dealership, supermarket or furniture store.

- I would bet Houston, like most cities, has a few malls with empty department stores. Lots of usable space.

- Approach University of Houston or Rice University about renting space on one of their campuses. It's a stretch, but both likely have studio facilities already.

 

Long term, KHOU might have to make a hard choice to build a new facility further out from downtown. However, Houston is such a sprawling city, it wouldn't matter a whole lot, because no matter where a station is, it's at least an hour's drive to get most anywhere. Stations in Boston, Miami, L.A., and Dallas that are not in downtown areas still manage to get the job done.

 

Added: Wherever they put their news department and studio temporarily, a rented football production truck and portable downlinks can give them a quick technical solution. A microwave link or fiber line gives them a studio to transmitter link.

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Probably. It's kinda the same situation KREX found themselves in when their building burned down in 2008. I recall they had a new Master Control built out in a trailer out back and had to do news from the Grand Junction PBS affiliate until the new building was finished.

 

It took KREX almost two years for them to get back on their feet in their new building. The fire broke out January 20th 2008 and they weren't in the new building until August 20th 2009.

 

EDIT: What happens next? An article about the KREX fire might have some hints:

 

 

I wouldn't be surprised if TEGNA's preferred vendors are already en route.

 

Wasn't WCIV's building destroyed in Hugo?

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The problem with car dealers, dead malls and furniture stores? Most of them are flooded, too. At that point, it might be a renovation to serve as a permanent facility.

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Wasn't WCIV's building destroyed in Hugo?

 

The storm surge flooded WCIV. They operated from the transmitter site on an interim basis.

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The problem with car dealers, dead malls and furniture stores? Most of them are flooded, too. At that point, it might be a renovation to serve as a permanent facility.

 

Houston is 639 square miles. There are parts of the city that did not flood. If you start discounting every single possibility, you are left with nothing.

 

WCIV used equipment borrowed from other Allbritton stations, including a production truck, in the first few weeks until they could cobble together a temporary facility.

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I feel so bad for the KHOU staff. It must be very stressful/exhausting covering a disaster like this while you worry about your OWN home, and now, these people had to move a TV station so they wouldn't be trapped. Even though I feel bad for them. whose dumb idea was it to put a TV station in a flood/hurricane prone area next to a major bayou?

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KTBU (Mega TV) is in the former News 24 Houston (short-lived 24-hour cable news channel) studios on Equity Drive, near 290 and the Sam Houston Tollway. Could be another temporary option. The old KPRC building someone mentioned earlier has already been knocked down.

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The problem with car dealers, dead malls and furniture stores? Most of them are flooded, too. At that point, it might be a renovation to serve as a permanent facility.

And that's not even taking into account the manpower needed to rebuild every salvageable building. Or the total amount of raw materials.

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So, as was mentioned earlier, it appears production and master control shifted from WFAA/Dallas to KUSA/Denver sometime late this morning, which probably gives them greater access to the group’s graphics hub (the old G3 is colocated in Denver IIRC).

 

The downside to production being in Denver means that the weather graphics no longer have all of the Texas counties/locales on their computer systems so they can’t show specific named cities/towns like they could when Dallas was in charge.

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So, as was mentioned earlier, it appears production and master control shifted from WFAA/Dallas to KUSA/Denver sometime late this morning, which probably gives them greater access to the group’s graphics hub (the old G3 is colocated in Denver IIRC).

 

The downside to production being in Denver means that the weather graphics no longer have all of the Texas counties/locales on their computer systems so they can’t show specific named cities/towns like they could when Dallas was in charge.

Very much so. I wonder if WFAA will take over again for weather graphics and/or KENS5 and KVUE since they are now outside the hurricane.

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(Assuming here) Also maybe next time they should put the rack rooms somewhere other than the first floor or basement. I know often they don't want to waste space for equipment on upper floors when nobody wants to be in the basement - but why not say turn it into production space (creative services) or what little scenic area that's needed ?

 

Their equipment room used to be on the first floor until it got wiped out by Allison. Last time I was there was right before they were purchased by TEGNA, but I believe the equipment room is on the second floor now.

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One thing worth mentioning that office space rentals maybe at a premium soon. Many regular businesses may be flooded out as well.

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With the decline in oil prices, office buildings probably have additional office space and KHOU could easily take a couple floors.

That is what I am thinking is going to happen.

 

So to give some perspective that I tried to give earlier.

 

KHOU during Allison had the parking lot and a little bit of water in the building (not a lot, but a little). What ended up happening was that they went with a very limited emergency generator when commercial power went out but still had master control on and was broadcasting there doppler radar for 90 minutes. All the bayous, and rivers are at a point where it is at not maximum flood stage, but record stages ever since they began taking records since the Barker and Addicks reservoirs were built by the US Army Corp of engineers to prevent rapid flash flooding.

 

TS Allison if I recall correctly back in 2001 made landfall on a Monday, went up to Lake Livingston and then made a loop around the lake than came back down and that Friday night, the storm literally parked over on a Friday night but was gone by Saturday morning.

 

This storm, landed in the Rockport area on a Friday and then with Houston being on the east side of the storm and the storm just moving as slow as it could possibly be...and areas in the Houston area have gotten 25-39" inches of rain since Friday.

 

Interim options:

KIAH and KTBU do have the space I believe for a studio. KIAHs area does have some office space close by. KTBU probably does as well.

 

KUHT does have space as well, but they are going to have to figure out about how they are going to handle it. Maybe sales offices could take residence in a Regus office site in Downtown.

 

The options are

A) To redo the station and maybe take more precautionary measures

B) To get the insurance money and either build up a new site elsewhere or to take up a lease in an office building.

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According to their Facebook page, KHOU has found an interim home in the television studios at the University of Houston (KUHT).

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Any chance the talk about KHOU's future could be split off into a separate Speculatron thread?

 

I mean, it's not like we're saying KHOU is going to be sold to Sinclair after this mess. The fact is KHOU's future is a concern right now if they don't have a decent place to transmit, let alone get critical information out to people who need it. If PBS is their long-term/only solution right now, I'm not sure that's going to work. At minimum there's going to have to be some long-term coordination with KENS, WFAA, and perhaps KIII and KBMT (which themselves are in a world of hurt right now I imagine). FAA is doing the best they can given the circumstances but I don't know how you foresee and prepare for something this cataclysmic.

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I personally think that even if the building is not a total loss, the station may want to move over rebuilding in such a floodprone area. When was the current KHOU studio constructed?

Now the way the company is, they won't let them do that.

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Now the way the company is, they won't let them do that.

 

The size of the insurance payout and potentially increased costs to insure the KHOU studios may leave them little choice and a lucrative option.

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The size of the insurance payout and potentially increased costs to insure the KHOU studios may leave them little choice and a lucrative option.

 

They also may be self-insured on many items ...this could really hurt. Many stations self-insure equipment. Also don't expect any quick payout to businesses from the insurance companies. Let's see who survives in the insurance business after this is over...10 years from now.

 

It's cheaper just to rebuild KHOU at a different site in the long run. Building permits will be expedited...they (the area folk) will start rebuilding quicker than most areas would be able to (ie:CA,NY).

 

If you give me permits quickly...and don't bitch about the tower...KHOU can be re-established fairly fast to function until the new perm. home is built.

 

Next thing...

Grab all those out of work engineers and techs with military and Olympic games broadcasting experience...these guys know how to build broadcast facilities quickly...because they do it every 2 years for NBC and the IBOC. Buy them all the beer they want.

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