SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) announced a bold step in evolving the future of video storytelling as it lays the groundwork for opening Video Lab West at the historic Sacramento Valley Train Station. This 10,000-square-foot digital video facility and incubator space will explore the bounds of virtual and augmented reality with leading technology partners and test how people will consume video on ever-changing platforms.
Google and YouTube will join as primary collaborators in the effort. Teams from Video Lab West will work with members of the Google News Lab and YouTube to advance innovation in VR and AR production, test new equipment, launch special projects, and host speakers and trainings in the space.
Video Lab West is an expansion of The Video Lab, McClatchy's Washington, D.C.-based operation that connects video between the company's brands across the country and new audiences. The operation will focus on fostering new brands and formats across a variety of platforms and feature an "open studio" concept designed to invite collaboration with other creators. The facility, strategically located on the train line connecting the San Francisco Bay Area with the capital city, will host several content teams at a time—employees from across the company, temporary video fellows and strategic partners. The company and City of Sacramento have agreed to preliminary business terms to lease space in the historic building.
"We are excited about expanding our operations to the West Coast -- and specifically to a city buzzing with new creativity and entrepreneurship," said McClatchy's Vice President of Video and New Ventures, Andrew Pergam. "This work should not happen closed off behind the tall brick walls of our buildings alone, but in the open. It requires a community of video producers and enthusiasts learning from and engaging with each other. McClatchy believes it is our job to help develop and cultivate that sense of community."
"This investment in video represents the digital future we're racing toward," said Craig Forman, President and CEO of McClatchy. "We believe in high-quality storytelling at our core and embracing new business models for modern media companies. With Video Lab West, we'll be able to explore new formats and platforms in a collaborative way in a city with a booming creative environment."
Meghan Sims, who has led video product and operations for McClatchy, moved to Sacramento to take the helm of Video Lab West.
The Greater Sacramento Economic Council has played an instrumental role in bringing this expansion to Sacramento. "As other regions have demonstrated, attracting this type of creative industry is essential for driving jobs and economic growth," Greater Sacramento Economic Council CEO Barry Broome said. "This video lab will help continue to create an advanced economy in the Sacramento region."
As part of the initiative, Video Lab West will support early-stage video entrepreneurs and hire a number of video creators, technologists, producers and a program team. The space will host screenings, workshops and social events, as well as provide co-working opportunities and be a showcase for the latest video technology. Video Lab West is an owned and operated division of McClatchy and will collaborate from time to time with other innovative companies. The project will also be supported with an incentive from the City of Sacramento Innovation and Growth Fund.
"It's only fitting that McClatchy, who was founded during Sacramento's railroad innovation boom, is now leading a new creative edge with the opening of Video Lab West in our historic train station," said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. "I'm confident this work will revolutionize the future of news media, something so important for us at this point in time. This is just one of many reasons why we are proud to partner with McClatchy, an information leader dedicated to the values of quality journalism., free expression and community service."
"The reopening of the Sacramento Valley Station is already paying dividends for Sacramento," said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. "By bringing their video lab to this historic building, McClatchy is playing a role in Sacramento's growing innovation economy."
Video Lab West has a target opening date of Summer 2017.
McClatchy is a news and information publisher of renowned brands such as the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News and Observer, and the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram. McClatchy operates 30 media companies in 14 states, providing each of its communities with high-quality news and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., and listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.
About the Greater Sacramento Economic Council:
The Greater Sacramento Economic Council is the catalyst for innovative growth strategies in the Capital Region of California. The organization spearheads community-led direction to retain, attract, grow and scale new businesses, develop advanced industries and create jobs and investment throughout a six-county region. Greater Sacramento represents a collaboration between local and state governments, market leaders, influencers, and stakeholders, with the sole mission of driving economic growth. The Sacramento Region was founded on discovery, built on leadership, and fueled by innovation. For more information, visit selectsacramento.com.
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