Peacock flies home: NBC 5 closing Michigan Avenue studio

Chicago’s first street-side television studio won’t be celebrating its 10th anniversary later this year after all.

NBC 5 announced plans Tuesday to close the facility it’s been leasing at 401 North Michigan Avenue since December 2003 and move its morning and midday newscasts back to NBC Tower one block east.

“Studio 5 allowed us to showcase our city in a way that hadn’t been done before, with a live background of Michigan Avenue and all of its iconic structures,” Larry Wert, president and general manager of NBC 5, told staffers in a memo. Other stations followed, including ABC 7 with its State Street studio and CBS 2 with its studio overlooking Daley Center Plaza.

But that was before NBC 5 unveiled its stunning video wall of 21-foot-wide plasma panels (featuring live views of the city in high definition) last September.

“With the spectacular look of our new set along with its added capabilities, we’ve decided to move all of our newscasts to the NBC Tower,” Wert said. “We believe it’s important to have a consistent look for all shows. Plus the new set has state-of-the-art equipment that will be a great addition to our morning and midday broadcasts.”

Look for the switch by the end of the month. The station will continue to keep a “live camera presence” on Michigan Avenue, a spokeswoman said.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)