Monday was big day in WJCT history as CEO Michael Boylan joined partners from PBS stations across the country in cutting the ribbon on a new Network Operations Center in Jacksonville.
The center is located in the COLO5 facility off Spring Park Road, and will house the broadcast operations for 11 public television stations in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Illinois. Eventually, "The NOC," as it's known — run by WJCT — will provide television broadcast operations for more than 16 million households.
"The good idea here is that stations are working together to combine master control facilities," said Vinnie Curren, chief operating officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provided a $7 million grant for the venture. "Stations can save money — a lot of money — $2 million a year we're anticipating, and push those precious dollars out of the back office and on to the screen to create high quality local content and services that our communities need."
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown was on hand for the event, and congratulated WJCT for creating jobs and having a "positive impact on the city."
"We need WJCT to be here for the next generation for my two boys... and the way you do that is to be innovative and creative," he said.
The Network Operations Center created about 20 new jobs in Jacksonville, and WJCT as the lead station will eventually bring in revenue from the project.
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*CORRECTION- The number of households was originally misreported as 30 million.