KABC-TV’s Glendale studios and some nearby Disney buildings were evacuated today after a caller said there were “several bombs” in the station’s studios at 500 Circle Seven Drive. Police with bomb-sniffing dogs searched the facility and found no suspicious devices, and the all-clear was given at about 4:36 PM. No injuries or damage was reported. KABC did its 4 PM newscast live from a lawn about a block away from the station, anchored by Ellen Leyva and David Ono. KABC officials say that had never happened before. Staffers returned to the studio for the 5 PM newscast.
Glendale Police Department Public Information Officer Tawny Lightfoot said they received a call at 1:52 PM that ABC7 had received a bomb threat. “The building was evacuated and there were approximately two to four buildings that were voluntarily evacuated,” she said. An eyewitness who was told to get out tells Deadline that Glendale police cleared some of the surrounding buildings, including a Disney building one block over. “Cops are everywhere directing traffic away from Circle Seven Drive,” the witness said. Another source said one Disney building was cleared by police and another was evacuated voluntarily.
Rebecca Campbell, President of ABC Owned Television Stations Group, said in a live interview on KABC that the decision to do the newscast outside was made quickly. “Immediately when we were evacuated, we all said, ‘OK, here’s the plan.’ It’s also a plan that we’ve practiced in the past; we’ve gone through drills like this.”
During the incident, a Disney spokesperson said in a statement: “KABC’s facilities in Glendale have been evacuated, following a threat received by the Glendale Police Department. Employees have been safely evacuated. Police are on site, and we’re awaiting word once they have completed a thorough investigation of the location.”
Ross Lincoln contributed to this report.