NorthStar brings TV to Tennessee

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 12:00am

Nashville is known as Music City. But NorthStar Studios is making the case it should also be known as Television City. The studio is making major inroads in "small screen" broadcasting.

There are very few turnkey television, network and mobile production companies under one roof. Because of that capability, NorthStar has a lot of big name clients - the NCAA, NFL, ESPN, America's Dumbest Criminals, Home Shopping Network and Gospel Music Television to name a few.

When storms repeatedly hit Florida this past hurricane season, the Nashville studios were used by Home Shopping Network, which needed an alternative location because of power losses at its home base in the Tampa area.

The multifaceted complex, just north of downtown Nashville, is comprised of a 125,000-square-foot building on 16 acres prepped for creativity and technological wizardry.

At any one time, productions can be going on in each of its seven studios, either recorded or live. And if productions are needed somewhere else, there are two equipment-filled trucks with technical support people who can bring production services to offsite locations anywhere in the U.S. All have satellite uplink capability.

"We have a very diversified client base, 80 percent of which is found outside of Nashville," said Grant Barbre, general manager of NorthStar. Barbre previously worked for nationally known companies, including Walt Disney. "There is a lot of entrepreneurial work done here for broadcasting and the music industry."

The types of productions are as diverse as the client base.

Last summer NorthStar re-signed with the Tennessee Titans in a multi-year contract to provide in-stadium production during game days. The company has provided services to the team since arriving in 1999, but only for one-year deals until 2004.

Earlier in the year, RFD-TV relocated its operations from Dallas to the Nashville studio complex. From there the 24-hour network dedicated to showcasing rural America, distributes its programming to all 50 states on basic channels of DIRECTTV and DISH Network.

"Nashville and NorthStar Studios were chosen over other possible locations not only because of its facilities and its historical role as an entertainment center, but because of its rich

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