KREX – Two Years Later

Yesterday afternoon I visited KREX‘s new facility in the Hillcrest Manor section of Grand Junction. They’ve been in the new quarters since this past June, but yesterday marked two years since their old building burned to the ground on an otherwise quiet Sunday morning.

The post I wrote that day sought to illustrate the power of the Internet, especially the mobile Web, to capture, annotate, edit, and distribute content around the world in a very short period of time. News of the fire was online on local media outlet websites less than an hour after the fire was reported, and plans to restore CBS and Fox programming to at least cable viewers was underway before the fire was completely out.

Since that day, we’ve seen how the media industry has adapted (or not) to this instant availability of information, and we were also able to watch KREX adapt to the immediate adversity placed before them.

Contingencies were established across station boundaries in what is normally a very competitive environment. Temporary quarters were established at the local PBS affiliate, while plans were developed and construction of a new facility, in the same somewhat historic location, began in earnest.

I met yesterday with General Manager Randy Stone and News Director Keira Bresnahan. There was no special notation or commemoration of the day, not even a story that I could find online. Keira put it simply; “We’re moving forward”.

The facility is very complimentary to its surroundings, and includes some curved glass block near the main entry as a form of remembrance to the building it replaced. One challenge that the station needed to consider during construction was designing the facility around the 300-foot tower and guy wires that couldn’t be moved to accommodate construction activity.

A large new set, ample and state-of-the-art production and editing facilities, and a big newsroom with four dedicated editing rooms are some of the highlights of the interior.

The news division and account/sales departments are on opposite sides of the building, connected by a common breakroom area. The station is completely “tapeless“, using digital media exclusively for its operations.

The new KREX is a testament to the commitment and dedication of its parent company and staff to look past their adversity, and come out of it better prepared to meet both their mission and the service expectations of the community.

Thanks to Randy and Keira for letting me have a look around.

Photo Credits: KUSA-TV (fire), KREX-TV (new set)

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