Detroit Public Television
announced plans to return to the city with the opening of a new satellite studio in the Maccabees Building, located on Woodward Avenue in Midtown.
It's part of DPTV's strategic long-term plan, which focuses on expanding its service and communication with the community in five key areas: children, culture, energy & environment, leadership & public affairs, and health. Delving into these critical issues while the station finished its capital campaign and built its headquarters in Wixom, it became clear to station president Rich Homberg that building a second studio in Detroit to energize the station's efforts around the city was a critical move.
"The ideal partner was really Wayne State, being a research institution and a key partner in the community," Homberg says.
He says there's a "wonderful marriage" to be built between public broadcasting companies and universities.
The studio ramps up the partnership between DPTV and Wayne State University
, which has already invested $100,000 in renovations to bring the existing studio up to code. DPTV and WSU will kick off their renewed relationship with a live taping of "Leaders on Leadership" at the new studio on Friday, which will feature WSU President Allan GIlmour.
"We're going to back up our high-definition mobile television production truck behind the studio and start producing television right away," Homburg says, while continuing to build out the studio to 21st century standards. "The good news is, we can immediately start to produce there, with an eye towards expanding the footprint and really expanding the service of that studio to Detroit."
The Maccabees Building, now owned by WSU, has some broadcast history of its own. It housed the debut of the "Lone Ranger" radio show in 1933, as well as Soupy Sales in the 1950s; it was also the longtime home of WXYZ and WDET-FM.
Homberg says the Midtown neighborhood was an obvious choice for locating the second studio.
"What you're seeing is, the effort around Detroit's renaissance is reaching critical mass," he says. "It does seem like we're reaching that tipping point. Being able to play into that energy is very exciting for the television station, the radio station and everyone at Detroit Public Television."
Source: Rich Homberg, president, Detroit Public Television
Writer: Ashley C. Woods