KCAL Television Studio


Seeing Stars: the Television Studios..

5515 Melrose Avenue,
Hollywood, CA. / (323) 467-9999

KCAL was bought by Viacom, which owns CBS, and the KCAL news staff was moved from this Melrose studio to Columbia Square on Sunset Blvd, where they shared the studio with the KCBS news staff. In 2006, both KCAL and KCBS will move from Columbia Square to a new headquarters being built at CBS Studio Center in the Valley.

The Melrose studio is now the home of oldies radio station K-Earth 101.1 FM (part of Infinity Broadcasting), which had formerly been at Columbia Square.

I will leave this page up for those interested in the history of KCAL and/or the property at 5515 Melrose, but bear in mind that the article below was written when KCAL was still located at this Melrose studio.

KCAL is a local TV station (Channel 9 in Los Angeles), located near the south end of the giant Paramount Studios (KCAL owns the building, but it also rents Paramount's Stage 21, which serves as the base of operations for its the KCAL news department.) It is the last remaining independent television station in Los Angeles, unaffiliated with any network.

After beginning life as the old Consolidated Film Corp., the studio was purchased by the National Broadcasting Company and became the NBC west coast network headquarters for their popular radio broadcasts. In 1938, NBC moved to a new studio at Sunset & Vine.

The studio in 1935 (as NBC)

The studio in the 1970's (as KHJ-TV)

For many years, the building housed the studio for KHJ-TV, until it was purchased in the 90's by the Walt Disney Company, and its station name was changed to KCAL.

Since Disney's acquisition of the ABC Network (and its local affiliate, KABC, Channel 7) forced them to sell KCAL, the station once again has new owners, but the call letters remain the same.  

The station was owned by Young Broadcasting for a few years. But in 2002, KCAL was purchased (for $650 million) by Viacom, the parent company of CBS & Paramount. CBS already owns one station in L.A., of course, KCBS.

There was speculation that they might turn KCAL into the L.A. UPN affiliate, since its affiliate agreement with Fox-owned KCOP expires in 2003. That wouldn't have been too surprising, considering KCAL is located right next to Paramount Studios.

Instead, though, in 2002, KCAL was bought out by CBS-Viacom for $650 million in cash. The local CBS affiliate (KCBS) now uses news footage from KCAL's broadcasts.

You'll still see a lot of residual Disney programming on KCAL, though, most notably live coverage of the games of Disney's hockey team, The Mighty Ducks and of Disney's baseball team, the Anaheim Angels (remember "Angels In The Outfield"?).

Channel 9 also carries the Lakers basketball games live, as well as the usual mix of reruns, movies and syndicated shows - plus a lot of news coverage. (In 2000, KCAL news won more Emmy Awards than any other local station.)

Despite having a prime-time schedule that is dominated by news broadcasts, KCAL also broadcasts a few shows that require a live studio audience; unfortunately for fans of those shows, none of them are actually taped at the KCAL studio. For instance, "Judge Judy" tapes at KTLA Studios; "Jerry Springer" is taped in Chicago; "The Maury Povich Show" is taped in New York... At this time, there are no live shows taping at KCAL which require a studio audience.

The KCAL studio does not offer a tour, and is not open to the public. But the huge Paramount Studio next door offers a guided walking tour of their historic studio.

Getting there: KCAL studios are located just east of the northeast corner of Melrose Avenue and Gower Street, at the south end of the giant Paramount Studios, across from Lucy's El Adobe Cafe, (See the directions for Paramount Studios.) / From the Paramount ticket office, just drive south on Gower and turn left (east) on Melrose. The KCAL studio will be on your left (north) side in the next block.

(Historical photos of the studio are compliments of O. Lytle Hoover.)

[For more information on this subject, you can access KCAL's official website at: http://www.kcal.com.]

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