After a major construction project, WCNY finally moved its headquarters into downtown Syracuse back in March 2013. The immense Broadcast and Education Center is a 56,000-square-foot state of the art facility that ties together all of WCNY’s operations in the Near West Side of the city. This week on Wednesday, October 30th WCNY hosts the first open-to-the-public grand opening of the new headquarters. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the entire building is open to the public including the cafe. There will be tours throughout the day. You’ll probably want to be there for the opening ceremony, which is from 2:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. The WCNY Broadcast and Education Center is an exciting development for downtown so I highly recommend stopping in for a peek!
Housed within the Broadcast and Education Center is a huge education center featuring Enterprise America, an entrepreneurship and economics program, and the Joint Master Control Operating Co., the WCNY subsidiary that runs all New York and New Jersey public broadcasting stations. In addition the Center includes two large HD television studios, two radio studios, and ten audio and video production suites. On top of all this, the building meets LEED “Green” standards. While this isn’t LEED Platinum, that’s the end goal for the facility. I remember first hearing about this project and wondering how it would all happen. Well now it’s a reality. Arguably one of the most important education and media organizations in New York State is now centered out of the Near West Side.
Most locals are quite familiar with WCNY whether you’re talking about Classic FM or one of the many locally produced TV shows, or big PBS productions like Downton Abbey or interview shows like Charlie Rose. What public broadcasting offers is not just entertainment but media that actually informs people. Instead of snarky, argument ridden political commentary, you get to watch a civil conversation, which reminds us that political discourse can still be constructive. Productions for children offer entertainment but also lessons on how to relate with others. As a child I specifically remember Bill Nye the Science Guy as well as Arthur as major influences in my life at an early age. WCNY, as a member station of PBS, made these shows available. So when I think of WCNY, I don’t think of entertainment for entertainment’s sake. I think of informative programing that fights back against all the mindlessness of the mainstream media. It’s about providing something real and something culturally important, so whether it’s supporting the arts, education, or trying to foster a generally more well-rounded citizenry, WCNY does all of these things. Just look at Say Yes to Success or the new Enterprise America program. But back to the tour.
On Wednesday visitors will tour the building to learn how broadcasting is done and even get to be in your own TV spot. You’ll meet various program hosts, see live music, and check out WCNY’s cafe among other things. Kids will get to meet Bob the Builder. You’ll also learn about WCNY’s unique, innovative collaboration known as Centralcast LLC, a management system that serves 20% of PBS viewership nationwide. All this is now happening from Syracuse’s Near West Side. It’s really quite incredible. In addition, you’ll get a first look at the new Education Center along with programs like Enterprise America.
If you’re interested in local media, especially of the public broadcasting variety, or just excited to check out this amazing addition to the City of Syracuse, I highly highly recommend making a stop!
WCNY Broadcast and Education Center Open House
Wednesday, October 30th from 9:00 a.m. t0 5:00 p.m.
WCNY Broadcast and Education Center
415 W. Fayette Street (Directions)
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