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ABC News Decision on This Week Move Expected Soon

ABC News in Washington is closing in on a decision about whether to move production of Sunday-morning show This Week with George Stephanopoulos from the ABC bureau just blocks from the White House to the Newseum just steps from the Capitol. The odds inside both buildings are that ABC will make the move.

A spokeswoman said ABC was no closer to that decision than it was several weeks ago. Still, an announcement is expected within the next couple of weeks, and Newseum deputy director Jack Hurley said he expects to hear from ABC in the next week or so. Hurley said, "The ball is in their court," but added that he is optimistic and that ABC "seems anxious" to make the move.

If so, it won't be until the first quarter of 2008 at the earliest. The Newseum -- which has been closed since 2002 for a move from Arlington to a prime spot adjacent to the National Mall and at the foot of Capitol Hill -- won't be opening until then after construction delayed put off its planned Oct. 15 opening.

Word is that some of the ABC engineers -- lighting and audio people -- in Washington were slated this week to go over to the Newseum, likely to kick the tires on the production facilities there. ABC is expected to use its own production crew for the show.

The Newseum built state-of-the-art studios partly in the hopes of attracting regular news productions like This Week. ABC has been in talks, then negotiations, with the museum about the move for months.

The network has been doing less production out of Washington since it moved Nightline's base of operations to New York.