S.B. Channels TV Station Moves to Goleta

Management Sees Bigger Facility as a Good Opportunity

The Santa Barbara public access TV station has been packing boxes and moving their station from Carrillo Street to Goleta for a bigger, better, less expensive facility.

“It’s hard enough to move an office. Image moving a whole TV studio,” said Hap Freund, the executive director of Santa Barbara Channels. The new facility will be located at 7000 Hollister Road, near Costco in the Camino Real Marketplace. Besides getting away from flooding during the rainy season, the relocation process will be for the best economic reasons.

“It’s a nicer facility,” said Freund. “The other building was raising the rent, here we’re getting more space for less money. It’s bigger, nicer and really professional. It’s also a better layout.” The new location used to be a Bank of America building and after that a FOX 11 TV station and, until recently, the Univision station. “People can come and do their own thing and we help them,” said Freund.

An attractive feature about the public access station’s new home is that there’s a second story which Freund said he intended to rent out to help the station in the long run. Another perk about this new location is a bigger studio size.

“Studio A, which was our biggest studio, held 26 [people], but this new one can hold 50, which is great for live bands,” said Oscar Gutierrez, production assistant. Freund agreed with Gutierrez and was excited about the potential of the larger studio space.

“We could have done the Dalai Lama question session in here,” said Freund.

But not all TV stations are as fortunate as Santa Barbara Channels.

“Everyone takes it for granted, but people don’t realize that stations all over the country are closing down because of the economy,” said Gutierrez, “so it’s pretty cool that we’re moving to a bigger and better station during this crisis.”

Because they are a nonprofit, Santa Barbara Channels TV station is able to escape from the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act (DIVCA) that has driven other California stations out of business. According to the Save Our Station Coalition, the act “takes control of cable franchises away from cities and failed to provide operational funding.”

“If you wanted a new franchise, usually you go to the county or city,” said Freund. “But now you have to go to the state. Funding has changed a little bit [for us] but we will not get defunded.” Freund said that the station has “a solid base in the community” and a flock of followers to support the station’s success.

Because of the move, Freund said there have been some minor setbacks with phones and computers, closing the station to the public. Luckily, the move should be completed by May 4 and will be back open to the public at that time.


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