Starting in early January, the Augusta County bureau of WHSV-TV3 will broadcast from the Mary Baldwin College campus, after signing a lease for space on the bottom floor of the Grafton Library.
This week, furniture, files, and equipment will be moved from what was the Communication Lab to prepare for light construction work. Crews are scheduled next week to move the WHSV set from the bureau’s current location on North Central Avenue in downtown Staunton to get ready for the two to three television staffers who will work out of the new office. The transition was timed to coincide with students’ winter break, which begins Friday.
With its main studio in Harrisonburg, WHSV covers news within the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and parts of West Virginia. It is owned by Atlanta-based Gray Television.
One parking space in the Grafton Library parking lot will be reserved for a news van. The station will lease parking spaces off campus for additional service vehicles as well as employees’ personal vehicles.
MBC officials say that while the lease of the room in Grafton will generate some revenue, the greater benefit to the college will arise as internships and other educational opportunities for students are developed over time. In addition, WHSV’s broadcasts from campus will raise the profile of Mary Baldwin among viewers of the ABC affiliate. WHSV-TV3 Winchester has had a similar experience sharing a studio with Shenandoah University’s public-access cable television station.
Both the station and the college are committed to maintaining ethical standards for news coverage.
“We agreed that while WHSV’s relocation is mutually beneficial for other reasons, it will not unduly influence either the station’s coverage of Mary Baldwin or Mary Baldwin’s sharing of information with WHSV,” said MBC Vice President for Public Relations Crista Cabe. Reporters seeking comment from MBC faculty and staff will continue to work through the college’s Office of Communication, Marketing, and Public Affairs .
The room in Grafton had previously been used by film students, the student newspaper Campus Comments, and MBC-TV. Some of the editing equipment will be transferred to Deming Hall and Chris House on Sycamore Street. More antiquated audio-visual apparatus will be donated or recycled.