NAB Commits to New Riverfront Home

In advance of the NAB Show in Las Vegas next week, the National Association of Broadcasters has announced it has a deal with a Washington developer to move its headquarters closer to Capitol Hill and the FCC (as well as a baseball's throw away from Nationals Park).

NAB used to be only a few blocks from the FCC, but the commission itself moved closer to the Capitol and the Potomac riverfront in the 1990s.

NAB says it has a deal to purchase a completed headquarters in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood (South Capitol and M Street, SE) with a move-in date by fall 2018 and ground-breaking by spring 2016. The area is undergoing a renaissance, driven in part by the location of the baseball stadium along the waterfront.

The move to digs closer to Capitol Hill—and within a block of the subway—will put NAB president Gordon Smith closer to his former stomping grounds as a senator from Oregon and current stomping grounds as advocate for broadcasting on the Hill and at the commission.

NAB will be selling its DuPont Circle headquarters—built in 1969—to help finance the new building, which will feature a Capitol view, rooftop terrace, and a 100-seat theater. The statement NAB is making is that broadcasting is a player, and one that is here to stay. The building is described as having a "wavy" (radio waves, perhaps?) front facing M Street, but there are no artists renderings yet, according to a spokesperson.

"We're thrilled that we have found a new home," said Smith in announcing the agreement with Monument Realty. "The new building will be a showcase venue for radio and television stations across America, and will send a strong message to public policymakers on the vibrant future of local broadcasting."

NAB has been trying to make the point of that vibrant future even as the NAB and Congress have focused on freeing up broadcast spectrum for broadband.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.