WTTG’s New D.C. Digs Puts All Eyes On The Newsroom

Fox Television Stations’ WTTG-WDCA Washington duopoly moved into its new home in suburban Bethesda, Md., in late July, a facility that puts its assignment desk, technical operations center and news sets at the architectural center.

By Glen Dickson | August 26, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. ET.
WTTG (Fox) and WDCA (MNT), the Fox Television Stations-owned outlets in the Washington, D.C., market, have moved up the road into a new facility that affords sunny views and an IP-based technical infrastructure.

After operating since 1966 at 5151 Wisconsin Ave. in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of Washington, “Fox 5 DC” is now occupying 60,000-square feet at 7272 Wisconsin Ave in Bethesda, Md. The 23-story “Wilson” office tower, which also contains retail and residential space, is a brand-new development of Carr Properties that took several years to build.

WTTG’s lease was coming to its end in its former location, and since the building had been built in the mid-1960s, it was a fairly dated facility with an inefficient use of space in some areas, says SVP and GM Patrick Paolini. In mid-2015, the station analyzed whether extending its lease was viable, and ultimately decided to look for a new home for its 200-odd employees, considering factors like communications links and commuting time as well as available workspace.

It took Fox 5 DC about two years to find the ideal location at 7272 Wisconsin Ave., which is only 1.8 miles away from its previous home and is still inside the Washington Beltway, at 1.2 miles from the D.C. border. It then took a year to execute the lease and another two years for the developer to complete the building before WTTG got access. After more than nine months of equipment installation and systems integration, WTTG began broadcasting from its new home with its 6 p.m. newscast on July 24.

An Ideal Location

“When we looked at what’s in the area, what this building offered and the space we were going to be given, in the end the decision to move to this location wound up not being close,” Paolini says.
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