Detroit – — WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) is expanding its operations by opening a downtown location in the former Chase Tower building.
According to the Southfield-based station, the Detroit location will be a glass-enclosed, outward-facing studio located inside the ground-floor lobby at 611 Woodward.
“This is a historic step in our mission to be the best station in Detroit and the best station for Detroit,” WXYZ-TV Vice President and General Manager Ed Fernandez told the station for its story Thursday.
“Proud to be back in Detroit at the permanent facility,” station manager Mike Murri said at a news conference Thursday.
Murri said WXYZ is targeting a late November launch for the studio and it will feature the noon news anchored by JoAnne Purtan.
The studio will also be used for WMYD-TV (Channel 20) programming, as well as both stations’ digital platforms.
In a tweet Thursday WDIV-TV, whose offices are downtown on West Lafayette, welcomed the station.
“Welcome downtown, @wxyzdetroit. We’ve been here 66 years, but we’re always happy to have another television neighbor in the city,” the tweet from WDIV read.
WDIV-TV Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz said her station remains Detroit’s station because it does all of its broadcasts from its downtown station 365 days a year.
She said she doesn’t expect WXYZ’s downtown location to impact competition between the stations.
“I don’t think that will change anything at all,” she said.
WXYZ will be the latest tenant at the building, known now as the Qube, for the Bedrock Real Estate Service, the real estate arm of Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert.
“We moved down here four years ago ... people said we ought to put a TV studio right here,” Gilbert said Thursday.
“This idea was there Day One and never went away. It was one of those natural things. This is a window into Detroit ... more than just a studio. A way for us and the whole community to tell people what’s going on down here. I feel the energy here this morning.”
In October, the newsrooms of The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, as well as the Detroit Media Partnership, will move from their West Lafayette building to a location closer to the heart of downtown into the former Federal Reserve Bank at 160 W. Fort. The building is owned by Gilbert’s Bedrock.
According to WXYZ.com, the station’s first TV broadcast took place on Oct. 9, 1948, from its Detroit studios inside the Maccabees Building in what is now called Midtown.
The station’s main studios will continue to be in Southfield, where they have been since the late 1950s, according to WXYZ.
Staff Writer Candice Williams contributed.