It’s “lights, camera, action” on the second floor of 142 W. Washington St. in downtown Marquette, as the area’s new CBS affiliate WZMQ-TV
began filming its local news broadcast from a new studio on Monday, Oct. 3. The building was purchased by Lilly Broadcasting earlier this year; the company transformed the nearly 150-year-old building into a 21st century television studio.
Who they are: Lilly Broadcasting
was tapped by CBS to become its new local affiliate in January 2022. The company initially broadcasted from its headquarters in Erie, Pennsylvania, until the renovations in downtown Marquette were completed. The company assembled a team of Marquette-based journalists to build the newsroom here, the results of which can be seen on channel 19.2 at 6 and 11 p.m.weekdays.
What they built:
Originally built in 1880, the building at 142 W. Washington St. has hosted a number of different businesses, bars, and restaurants over the decades; it was most recently the Kildare Irish American Pub. Lilly Broadcasting gutted and rebuilt the second floor as a modern television studio and renovated the first floor as office space. Work on the first floor is ongoing.
Why they did it:
“This was a strategic decision that came from the company’s owners. They thought it was really important that we’d be the only downtown television station in Marquette. They also liked the idea of taking an old building and rehabbing it. There’s been a lot of investment in that building to bring it up to speed and up to code,” says Brian Trauring, executive vice president for Lilly Broadcasting.
“We love that we're right across from the old Delft Theater — of course, it's not a theater anymore, it’s a restaurant
. But it's got that big theater marquee outside. And we've got to know our neighbors there. The Honorable Distillery
is right next door and that's a brand new business and they renovated that building, which was an old theater. So it's a really interesting place. There’s a lot of character there in downtown Marquette.”
On the horizon:
Trauring says to look out for a new WZMQ sign for its facade, which should come within the next month or so.
WZMQ-TV is located at 142 W. Washington St. in downtown Marquette.