NBC, MSNBC and 400 N. Capitol

Last week, FTVLive mentioned the rumor that NBC/MSNBC’s 400 North Capitol Street Bureau will relocate to 4001 Nebraska Avenue (where “Meet the Press” is filmed).

We’ve dug into the story a bit more (as did this morning’s Politico). The questions:

How much does their 400 North Capitol Street lease cost? Some estimates put it at $500,000 a year.

Will this lead to layoffs? Some staffers think that it’s likely that some trimming will be done but Jeremy Gaines said “the concept of any bureau being downsized is completely preposterous” (although FTVLive said that staffers may be “asked to relocate to NYC.”)

Is it part of NBC 2.0? Hard to say, and also hard to call it a cost-cutting move since it will take many years for NBC/MSNBC to make back the amount of money they’ll have to initially spend to relocate their operation.

So why the move? Depends on your take. Some say it’s to cut costs, some say it’s due to internal politics (remember that Big Russ spends much of his time over at 4001 Nebraska Avenue…). At this point, who knows… There does, however, seem to be a belief amongst many staffers that ditching the 400 N. Capitol location “looks bad” from a “prestige standpoint.”

Is it odd timing? With the 2008 presidential election coming up, you betcha.

Is Chris Matthews going to be happy? No way. Getting guests to make the long trek to 4001 Nebraska is not going to be as easy as it was to get them to simply walk to 400 North Capitol. (MapQuest puts the distance between the U.S. Capitol Building and 400 North Capitol at .52 miles. From the U.S. Capitol Building to 4001 Nebraska Avenue? 6.13 miles). In their piece, FTVLive said that “MSNBC may or may not try to retain a small portion of for guest purposes.” Both Tucker Carlson and Tammy Haddad, however, will have shorter commutes (in fact, one staffer said that lots of folks actually live closer to 4001 Nebraska Avenue than 400 N. Capitol).

When would this move take place? September, possibly.

Who could benefit from the NBC/MSNBC’s evacuation? Fox. Fox already has an operation out of 400 North Capitol and
their business channel could very well want NBC/MSNBC’s spot.

Those of you in the loop, shoot us a line or drop us a note in the anonymous tips box.