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Disney’s Burbank Neighbor Going to Universal City

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Meg James and Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times report that NBC will make the announcement today.

The media company, which made the town of tract houses the butt of endless jokes, but also brought it prominence as the base of "The Tonight Show," is decamping to nearby Universal Studios.

The media company plans to announce today that it will sell much of the 34 acres it owns in Burbank, including the legendary NBC Studios at 3000 W. Alameda Ave.

I knew something was up when plans were made for Conan to do The Tonight Show from Universal Hollywood when he takes the show over.  The Burbank property is not just the west-coast NBC studios, but it is also home to their owned-and-operated KNBC-TV Channel 4, competitor to Disney’s owned-and-operated KABC-TV Channel 7.

The company intends to relocate the network and local news operations from Burbank to a new headquarters in a massive complex planned a couple of miles away on Lankershim Boulevard, across the street from Universal Studios.

A Red Line subway station and a sprawling parking lot now occupy the proposed site next to the 101 Freeway. The subway stop will remain and be part of the new complex.

The new "green" facility, with its high-definition news headquarters, is scheduled to house NBC News’ West Coast operations and the local news staffs of KNBC and Spanish-language Telemundo KVEA-TV Channel 52. NBC’s syndicated entertainment show "Access Hollywood" would also be located there.

From time to time, there is speculation that NBC Universal may want to get out of the theme park operations business, and this move to Universal Hollywood does not discourage that.  It would be very easy for NBC Universal to remove the theme park elements of the Universal City property in favor of more and television production facilities or general development.  As a theme park fan, I hope that doesn’t happen, but rather I hope Universal’s theme park guests will have the additional option of easy access to NBC facilities as part of their ‘studio" experience.