ABC 7 KGO donated its studio news set to SF State’s broadcast and electronic communication arts department, where the set will replace the four-year-old set in BECA’s Studio One. The set will also be used for the department’s student-run newscast “State of Events” which is slated to air later this fall according to Vinay Shrivastava, the department chair of BECA.
The donation was made possible when KGO completed its renovation with a new set and a new studio earlier in the summer, leaving a leftover set and equipment.
Even though the set had already been used, KGO asked the University if BECA would be interested in receiving it, according to Shrivastava. After many BECA faculty meetings during the summer and discussions with newscasters and professors, such as Marty Gonzalez, a part-time professor and a weekend news anchor for KRON 4 News, the department decided to take KGO’s old set, according to Shrivastava.
“Marty said that the set must be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it was great that we could get that for free,” Jeff Rosenstock, the production equipment supervisor for BECA said.
Rosenstock also said it was good timing for the department to acquire the set, since it’s not often that broadcast studios like KGO go through a half-million-dollar renovation and have a set at their disposal for donation.
“The timing was good. We would never have had the opportunity to get something like this and even though the previous set in Studio One from KRON 4 was less than five years old, the KGO set was in better shape. It was a major coup getting this set,” Rosenstock said.
Though it was a “major coup,” getting the set from KGO studios to SF State and into Studio One proved to be a major logistical issue, according to Shrivastava.
“It was very heavy so we had to dismantle it and bring it over part by part in two separate trucks,” Shrivastava said.
The set then had to be completely reconstructed. “It was like putting together a complicated Lego set. So we went to the KGO website to look at pictures and visually piece it back together,” Rosenstock said.
To help with set reconstruction the department called in Eugene Dechristopher, the original designer of the KGO set. “We couldn’t have done it without him, and we are very thankful for the new set and for KGO,” Shrivastava said.
Steven Milazzo, a senior BECA student, believes that getting to use a professional news set will be helpful for the department and its students.
“I think anytime we get to use real sets, it just adds practical value to the class since it allows us to practice in an environment that is similar to a real studio,” Milazzo said.
Jason Cruz, another BECA student agrees. “From what I have seen the set should be very helpful for the department, especially since we bought a new lighting system to go along with it,” Cruz said.
Unlike the set, the BECA department had to pay for a new lighting system, since the old ones needed replacing. “The old lights were like from the ‘60s and ‘70s so we really needed the new LED lights for the studio and set,” Cruz said.
Despite having to pay for new lights and an electrical system to accompany the set, Shrivastava says the set will be good for the campus and the department.
“It is a good set and it was really nice that we didn’t have to spend money on a whole new set,” Shrivastava said.
To follow up on its donation and see how it is being used, KGO will air a small segment later this month on how the set will be used here at SF State.