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California and the West

Cash, Not the Commute, Drives CW to Burbank

April 04, 2006|Meg James | Times Staff Writer

The new CW network has found a home: Burbank.

The joint venture of CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. Entertainment, which will launch in September, has settled on 35,000 square feet in the newly constructed Pinnacle building near the famed Warner Bros. studio.

The selection of a location was the first major test of unity for executives of the WB and UPN networks, who are shutting down their operations to form the CW. In recent weeks, some employees of the WB had hoped for a San Fernando Valley location, while UPN workers lobbied to be headquartered near West Los Angeles, where that network now resides.

The desire to avoid longer commutes was so fierce that CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves joked the CW needed to be housed in neutral territory, like Switzerland.

The decision means that those who live on the Westside, including UPN President Dawn Ostroff, will soon have to slog over the Sepulveda Pass or take Mulholland Drive to work.

Most of the 150 West Coast employees of the CW will move into the new headquarters at 3300 W. Olive Ave. this year. CW spokesman Paul McGuire said the decision was dictated by financial terms rather than drive times for network employees.

McGuire said the CW would also take over about 15,000 square feet in a postproduction facility recently built for the WB on the satellite lot known as the Ranch.

The Pinnacle complex is already home to Warner Music Group and Clear Channel Communications, among other operations.

Burbank, meanwhile, is becoming Network Row. ABC and NBC are already there.

CBS is considering moving its West Coast headquarters to Studio City. If that occurs, the only broadcaster south of the Hollywood Hills would be Fox Broadcasting Co.

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