Shawn Wittrock, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- News On 6 is broadcasting from a new home. Some of you may be seeing our new studios for the first time. Making the move from our old station to a state-of-the-art media center was a labor of love that took years of planning.
And it all came down to one final night.
Scott Thompson and Terry Hood anchored our final newscast from the old studio, and News On Six turned out the lights on 64 years of broadcasting excellence at 302 South Frankfort in downtown Tulsa.
But this public goodbye was only the beginning of the end for employees. It was our turn to say goodbye. With smiles and tears, the News On 6 family toasted to decades of success.
"Let's make her proud in the new building. Here's to Franky. Hip hip hooray!" said news director Ron Harig.
There were plenty of stories to share and plenty of pictures to take after that final newscast - to help mark the time we spent there. We remembered good times in the newsroom and our favorite moments in the studio.
We stopped to applaud the guys who worked practically non-stop to get us into our new place, then everybody went up on the set for one last group picture.
Well - almost everybody. Waiting in the wings was a group of people anxious for this party to end. They were looking at a long, long night ahead of them.
"Had to wait for you guys to get off the air," said Kathy Haney, vice president of human resources, unplugging a computer.
Once the last champagne bottle was popped - the station filled with a different kind of sound. The flurry of activity we used to see just before a newscast was replaced by a race against the clock to move the last of our broadcasting equipment in time for the next day's show.
"There's still a lot of equipment to move," said Steve Schroeder, director of news operations. "We have places in the equipment racks pre-wired and set up to go, so we'll unbolt it from the old building, bring it over here, slide it in place and hopefully all the wires are in the right places and they're hooked to the right things."
Piece by piece, every monitor, hard drive, server, and satellite receiver was taken out of a rack or off a desk - and loaded up for a trip to its new home.
It's complicated work. There are miles and miles of cables running throughout the building.
"They'll work 36 hours straight or something like that. That's what you got to do," Schroeder said.
At day break - another team began yet another part of the move. Hundreds of boxes of archive video, along with contents of everyone's desk, were loaded into a big truck.
A team of movers made countless trips - making sure nothing got left behind.
And even when everything arrived at our new home - the journey wasn't complete. The movers used a system of color coded labels to make sure everything ended up where it belonged.
While that was happening - the tech team finished installing everything they'd moved. Then it was time to check their work.
"We anticipate there's going to be a lot of bugs to work out," said Steve Schroeder, director of news operations.
And there were some bugs - but by the time the open rolled on our first newscast at 303 North Boston, most of the kinks were worked out - and we started producing the next chapter of history at Oklahoma's Own, News on 6.