Three years ago, Celebro opened a 2,000 square foot studio close to Oxford Circus in central London. The concept was simple: to offer state-of-the-art, multi-camera news studios with the kind of automation that international broadcasters have come to expect.
Today the company has 12,000 square feet at its London complex (with more space coming on-line in 2018) and operates a number of 24/7 channels, providing a full-service solution that includes newsrooms, OBs, playout and uplinks. Celebro has a wide client base that includes traditional broadcasters such as BBC, ITV and Viacom, news agencies including Reuters and internet companies such as Yahoo! The company has also helped launch international global news channels like Iran International, provided an international bureau for TRT World and provided services for a host of other international broadcasters across Europe, the Americas and Australasia.
Celebro is now expanding operations around the world. Celebro’s Moscow studio opened in 2015 to service broadcasts for MTV. The office has recently moved to central Moscow where it offers an enviable view of Red Square. Celebro’s Head of Production, Andrew Lebentz, explains that the move is timed ahead of a busy news cycle in Russia. “The eyes of the world will be focussed on Russia in 2018. March sees fresh Presidential Elections and of course the football World Cup kicks off in the summer. We already have a renewed interest in Moscow live positions as a result of the questions over Russian involvement in Syria and the US elections. Our new facility boasts unrivalled views of Red Square and has the capacity to run six simultaneous transmissions.”
Today Celebro is about to begin the process of taking its concept global. Celebro’s chief executive, Wesley Dodd, has announced that the company is building new studio locations in Washington DC and Los Angeles. “We wanted to take the same concepts that have helped in our success in the UK and offer our international clients the same level of service in the US. Our facility will offer more than 4,500 square foot near the Capitol with an eye-catching backdrop.”
The main studio will offer a fully-automated five-camera news centre along with a state-of-the-art newsroom with MOS integrated systems, VizRT graphics systems and a combination of desktop and craft editing. They will also offer three stunning rooftop positions of Capitol Hill, the beating heart of US politics.
The Washington studio is due to open in spring 2018 and a facility in Los Angeles is due to come on-line even sooner. The new studio, near the legendary junction of Sunset and Vine, has a spectacular view of the Hollywood sign and again offers a multi-camera automated news facility for those clients who want more than a straightforward ‘down-the-line.’
But Celebro’s ambitions do not end there. Over the past year Celebro have been building an IP based OB company that has responded to some of the year’s biggest news stories: the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London; the UK General Election; Catalonia’s independence vote; and the Manchester bombing.
Celebro’s Chairwoman, Maxine Mawhinney, is a former BBC News Channel anchor and explains the concept. “My years in rolling news means I understand how important it is to get reporters live on air and from the scene as fast as possible. Celebro Live is quick and easy to deploy and offers all the stability of a satellite truck but without the enormous cost. Also our ‘Celebro Minis’ are easier to take to the heart of the story, and have a much smaller carbon footprint.”
Over the next two years Celebro plans to add 30 new cities to its network infrastructure through a combination of new studios and Celebro Live facilities. To do so, Celebro has attracted venture capital funding in the UK and the US which is already helping the company to reach new markets.
You can see an interview with Wesley Dodd in the AIB’s In Conversation series here