According to sources familiar with the situation, ABC will be moving its This Week studio back to the Washington bureau from the Newseum, and Al Jazeera America will be moving into ABC's old digs there.
The contract with the Newseum was up at the end of May, according to those sources, and ABC has a Washington studio at the bureau -- the smaller one not being used by ESPN -- that it can use for guests and the one This Week a month that is guest-hosted from D.C.
A source said one of the issues that prompted ABC's exit was the continuing cost of the studio space given that ABC has a studio at the bureau that could host the show's reduced production. In fact, it is the same studio David Brinkley used when he hosted This Week from Washington.
A source familiar with ABC's plans said that though it was not yet a done deal, it was expected to happen, in part because the Newseum space was now used relatively infrequently.
A source familiar with the show said the plan was for June 16 to be the first broadcast using the bureau studio, where a new set was currently being built.
ABC moved to the Newseum five years ago (April 2007) amid much fanfare, but also at a time when the show was produced and hosted out of Washington. The Newseum provides some of the best views of Capitol Hill in the city.
But This Week has been increasingly produced out of New York, where host George Stephanopoulos
has anchored Good Morning America since 2009, with the D.C. Newseum space used for guests and regular guest-hosting, by Jake Tapper before he exited for CNN, and more recently by Martha Raddatz.
According to a source familiar with the plans of Al Jazeera America (AJAM to insiders) and its ramp-up, confirms that the news net will be building a Washington studio at the Newseum in preparation for its launch later this year.
Although a source said that Al Jazeera would have the ABC space only Monday-Friday, they added that ABC would have had to reconfigure and unconfigure it weekly to use the space for the Sunday show.
Unlike ABC, Al Jazeera will have both office space and editing facilities at the Newseum according to a source there.
The source familiar with ABC's plans said that, as a founding member of the museum, ABC might still possibly be able to use Newseum space for special event coverage like the Inauguration -- the parade from the Capitol goes right past the Newseum.
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