London: 24 February 2010
Abbey Business Centres agree Gherkin office deal with Sky News for flagship business show.
Abbey Business Centres has licensed 1,250 sq ft of space at the iconic 'Gherkin' (officially 30 St Mary Axe) to Sky News, which will use the accommodation as a studio for Jeff Randall Live, the broadcaster's flagship business news programme, which premiered on Monday 22nd February.
Julie Calder, managing director, Abbey Business Centres, said: 'Sky News has taken a two-year licence on serviced office terms. As the space is being used as a studio it is obviously not office standard but this leasing agreement shows just how flexible business centres can be in providing commercial space solutions.
'Sky News was particularly impressed by The Gherkin itself and the view from its base on the 15th floor. I think this gives out a message that there is a place for the serviced office package within iconic structures.
'We are absolutely delighted to welcome Sky News and hope to regularly bump into celebrities from the world of business.'
Jeff Randall Live is shown at 7.30pm Monday to Thursday; the new studio will initially broadcast in standard definition only, but will switch to HD when Sky News launches its HD channel later in the spring.
Sky News believes a base at The Gherkin will allow greater and faster access to the key City decision makers for Sky News' team of specialist business journalists. The studio will provide a convenient and easy location for studio guests across Sky News' business output, and allow Jeff Randall and the Sky News business team to bring viewers the latest business news direct from the City.
The new studio sets Sky News apart from other UK TV organisations in having a dedicated broadcasting base within the City. With the launch of the studio, viewers will be treated to a panoramic view of London towards Westminster, overlooking Tower 42, St Paul's Cathedral and the new Heron Tower. The studio will comprise a presenters' desk for Jeff, space for up to three studio guests, as well as a large screen for live video link interviews. In addition there will be office space for up to eight Sky News staff. The studio will also be used for special programmes, including Budget day.
Chris Birkett, executive editor for Sky News said: 'The City of London is at the heart of the UK economy, it's where the banking crisis happened and it's where the key players - from monetary policy makers to top executives and analysts - are based. The new studio will provide Sky News viewers with a visually stunning backdrop for business news, and with the launch of the HD channel in the spring, it will bring them even closer to the business stories that matter to them.'