Fox 5 settles into its new home in downtown Bethesda

From left: Marissa Mitchell, Holly Morris and Knowledge Martin of Fox 5. Photograph by Louis Tinsley

To the Fox 5 reporter and morning host Holly Morris, the view is likely one of the finest components of the tv station’s latest transfer from its former residence in Friendship Heights in northwest Washington, DC, to a brand new skyscraper in downtown Bethesda.

“I labored within the basement for 22 years and by no means noticed exterior,” says Morris, who lives in Chevy Chase and begins his shift at 3 am. “Having the ability to see the dawn is so good for the soul. By no means underestimate the ability of simply having a window. “

Headquartered at 5151 Wisconsin Ave. since 1966, Fox started searching for a brand new residence for WTTG Fox 5 and WDCA Fox 5 Plus in 2015. Finally, he moved right into a constructing about 2 miles away at 7272 Wisconsin Ave. and commenced broadcast on July 24. 2021. “The mixture of a fantastic location, a vibrant space, a dynamic new constructing, and state and county incentives, ultimately, made Bethesda the plain selection,” says Patrick Paolini Jr., senior vp and basic supervisor, Fox 5.

This is a fast tour of the brand new Fox 5 digs.

Meteorologist Tucker Barnes on the roof terrace. Photograph by Louis Tinsley


Fox rents three flooring in The Wilson, a 23-story workplace tower developed by Carr Properties. Its 60,000 sq. toes of area had been designed by the DC workplace of Gensler worldwide structure agency.
The newsroom on the sixth ground has loads of pure gentle, an open ground plan, wall-to-wall home windows, and an inviting sense of collaboration, says reporter Bob Barnard. “Whilst you’re at work, you may know what time it’s and what the climate is like,” he says. There are corners with gear the place reporters can broadcast the newest information, and a central desk the place presenters and reporters sit that’s illuminated and rotates to offer totally different situations.

Change of areas

Additionally on the sixth ground, the massive predominant examine has a vaulted ceiling with pendant lights that may produce 500,000 totally different combos, comparable to a purple, white and blue scheme for election night time, says Paolini. The furnishings and cameras are movable, permitting extra flexibility than within the former Fox 5 residence. The excessive ceiling permits the cameras to offer an aerial view of all the studio, and there may be even a staircase that journalists can use. descend whereas they inform their tales.

“In a matter of seconds or minutes, the entire look can change,” says morning host Knowledge Martin, who likes to have the ability to simply transfer from the information desk to the kitchen, the loft, or a multi-segment sofa. “It provides a distinct vibe and a distinct really feel, relying on the circumstances; It may very well be a way of urgency or it may very well be a sense of ‘we’re about to have a bit enjoyable now’. ‘”

One of many management rooms at Fox’s new facility in downtown Bethesda. Photograph by Louis Tinsley

Excessive-tech options

Fox stations produce about 80 hours of programming every week. Two management rooms permit the simultaneous manufacturing of two reside reveals. As an alternative of the usual serial digital video utilized by most broadcasters, Fox’s new facility employs a state-of-the-art audio and video system that may ship a greater image whilst broadcast know-how evolves, says Jim Beahn. , vp of engineering and operations. . New Inexperienced Display and Digital Actuality Gear Increase Choices for Stage Layouts; for instance, information anchors within the examine who’re broadcasting a soccer program might seem like on the sphere of play, and even kick a digital soccer ball into the online.

glorious location

Benefiting from The Wilson’s location close to the Metro Pink Line and the Mild Rail Purple Line, now underneath building, Fox runs a digital information ticker above the Metro station entrance on Wisconsin Avenue. Paolini says being within the coronary heart of downtown Bethesda provides Fox 5 a “particular edge” in relation to hiring new workers. Fox has practically 200 staff; a few third reside in Montgomery County.

Out of doors Benefit

Reporters can use The Wilson’s terraces and a rooftop enclosure for interviews and reside footage, together with climate forecasts. “The out of doors area has been a sport changer for us,” says chief meteorologist Sue Palka, who has labored for Fox 5 for 36 years. He usually broadcasts exterior on the Skydeck which is adjoining to the climate heart and studio. Palka remembers how she was interrupted by passing site visitors as she tried to carry out reside from Wisconsin Avenue on the Friendship Heights location. “It’s so quiet in right here. We do not have to fret a few bus going by way of reside photographs, ”he says. “It has been completely thrilling. Simply watching the clouds go by provides you a lot extra to speak about. “

Morris says the decks and rooftop space, with its fireplace pits, surroundings, and think about, are additionally nice choices for train segments or cooking demonstrations that function a grill. “Each time we get to be exterior, taking a look at Bethesda, it is actually spectacular and it makes the storytelling enjoyable,” she says.

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