Check out this article from The Charleston Gazette:
WOWK-TV’s move to Charleston may create jobs, owner says
By Eric Eyre
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — WOWK-TV’s decision to move most of its staff out of Huntington and consolidate operations in Charleston won’t lead to any job cuts, said Bray Cary, who heads the company that owns the television station.
“If anything, we’ll probably be expanding our news staff,” said Cary, president and CEO of West Virginia Media Holdings.
By March, WOWK plans to move about 50 employees from its building in Huntington to a 15,000-square-foot office connected to the Charleston Town Center Mall, Cary said Tuesday. The office sits beside BrickStreet Mutual Insurance’s headquarters.
WOWK already has about 50 employees at another office in Charleston, Cary said.
He said he and station staff members spent two months discussing the consolidation.
“We were trying to figure out how can our news organization grow our ratings and deliver the best product,” Cary said. “Everybody said we needed to get under one roof. It’s just more efficient management to have everything in one building.”
Staff members wanted to move to Charleston because it’s the political hub of the state, he said.
“We really believe Charleston is an ideal location,” said Cary. “It’s the crossroads of the region and the state. We wanted to be in the capital city.”
Staff members were notified about the move last week.
Cary said some WOWK-TV employees who live in Huntington — especially those who live west of the city — would likely be disappointed by the move to Charleston because of the long commute. A majority of employees supported the change, he said.
“We’re moving all the studios and everything to Charleston,” Cary said. “We’re just trying to get together so we can create a more robust product.”
WOWK-TV plans to lease the new office space at 400 Quarrier St., beside the mall.
“We can design it to really reflect the new technology and other things that are important,” he said.
The station will close its existing Charleston office at 13 Kanawha Blvd. W. after its lease expires next year, Cary said.
WOWK plans to sell its building in downtown Huntington. The property hasn’t been listed, and the company hasn’t determined an asking price, Cary said Monday.
A small number of employees will remain in Huntington, Cary said.
He said WOWK’s move follows similar consolidations of Huntington and Charleston staff by competing local television stations several years ago.
WOWK-TV employees believe the move to Charleston will help boost ratings, Cary said.
“Our employees are hungry to win,” he said. “The decision was based on how can we be the No. 1 station. Our people believe this move will create that opportunity and give them the tools to win.”
Earlier this month, WOWK-TV announced that longtime news anchor Sandra Cole was leaving her job. Cole had worked for the station for 17 years.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice…@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.