PHOTOS: Washington’s Top News gets a top-notch new home

It’s the start of a new age for WTOP, which bid adieu to its old Idaho Avenue location for a shiny, space-age pasture just up the street in Maryland.

It was bittersweet signing off from the old studio for a final time, but WTOP’s glimmering, state-of-the-art newsroom in Friendship Heights has all the technology and amenities Washington’s Top News needs to accommodate an expanding round-the-clock news operation.

If the old building were a corvette, the new one is a battleship: With more than 30,000 square feet of office space, 47 editor’s stations, hundreds of screens and a brand-new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center (now with more glass), the Wisconsin Avenue building is a beast of a newsroom. It almost feels like something out of “Star Trek.”

The new facility will be the first time in years that WTOP and its sister station, Federal News Network, have shared the same office space. Call it a family reunion.

At 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, 30 years of memories, journalistic history and free stuff on the magical “Football Table” came to an end at 3400 Idaho Avenue in D.C. — and it wasn’t exactly a slow news day.

The move came as a result of WTOP’s growth over the years, and the new Friendship Heights space allows for all departments to finally live on the same, expansive floor, said WTOP general manager Joel Oxley.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Wisconsin Avenue newsroom in action below. Did I mention the electric convertible standing desks?

Welcome to WTOP’s home on Wisconsin Avenue! The new office space finally allows for all of WTOP’s departments to coexist on the same floor, and is 8,000 square feet larger than the 30-year-old newsroom at Idaho Avenue. This ring of television screens houses the editor’s desks — the starship-like command deck of the station’s 24-hour news operation. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The dawn of a new era for WTOP on Feb. 3 — the station's first morning broadcasting out of the new studio on 5425 Wisconsin Avenue. So far, so good. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The dawn of a new era for WTOP on Feb. 3 — the station’s first morning broadcasting out of the new studio on 5425 Wisconsin Avenue. So far, so good. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Sunday, Feb. 3 was the Wisconsin Avenue newsroom's first full day in action. After a smooth handoff from the Idaho Avenue office, WTOP's on-air and web teams were settling in to their new desks. Pictured: Digital writer Jack Moore, hard at work reporting on a controversy enveloping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Sunday, Feb. 3 was the Wisconsin Avenue newsroom’s first full day in action. After a smooth handoff from the Idaho Avenue office, WTOP’s on-air and web teams were settling in to their new desks. Pictured: Digital writer Jack Moore, hard at work reporting on a controversy enveloping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Dedicated WTOP listeners will likely be familiar with the fabled Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center (GENC), the translucent battleship bridge from which our anchors continously broadcast the news to millions in the D.C. area. The brand-new GENC at 5425 Wisconsin Ave. comes with more space, additional anchor positions, a private coffee machine, and, perhaps most fittingly: More glass. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Dedicated WTOP listeners will likely be familiar with the fabled Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center (GENC), the translucent battleship bridge from which our anchors continuously broadcast the news to millions in the D.C. area. The brand-new GENC at 5425 Wisconsin Ave. comes with more space, additional anchor positions, a private coffee machine, and, perhaps most fittingly: More glass. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Bruce Alan and Joan Jones — the voices of WTOP during morning rush hour — conduct an off-air practice run from the new main studio on 5425 Wisconsin Avenue. While WTOP's broadcast format remains the same despite the move, the new studio debuts state-of-the-art software and equipment, assembled and tested over the course of months to ensure a seamless transition from the old building at midnight on Feb. 4. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Bruce Alan and Joan Jones — the voices of WTOP during morning rush hour — conduct an off-air practice run from the new main studio. While WTOP’s broadcast format remains the same despite the move, the new studio debuts state-of-the-art software and equipment, assembled and tested over the course of months to ensure a seamless transition from the old building. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Morning anchors Joan Jones and Bruce Alan go through a dry run of a standard news broadcast using the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center's new equipment. WTOP's news and advertising management softwares also saw upgrades, and audio engineers trained anchors how to use the new technology in the days leading up to the move. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Morning anchors Joan Jones and Bruce Alan go through a dry run of a standard news broadcast using the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center’s new equipment. WTOP’s news and advertising management software also saw upgrades, and audio engineers trained anchors on how to use the new technology. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Starting in early February, WTOP's live anchoring will be produced from six microphones like this one in the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. The vast majority of 5425 Wisconsin Ave.'s technology is brand-new, under construction by Minnesota-based broadcast engineering team RadioDNA since late summer of 2018. WTOP's signal strength won't be impacted by the move, since the station's transmitter will remain at nearby American University. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
From now on, WTOP’s live anchoring will be produced from six microphones like this one in the new studio. The vast majority of 5425 Wisconsin Ave.’s technology is brand-new, much of it built by Minnesota-based broadcast engineering team RadioDNA since mid-2018. WTOP’s signal strength won’t be impacted by the move, since the station’s transmitter will stay put at American University. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP’s Madeleine Simon at the assignment editor’s station. Just like the old office, the radio, assignment and digital editors sit side-by-side to allow for easy communication between WTOP’s different departments. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP’s Rob Woodfork and Rick Massimo get to work on their new desks and computers Sunday afternoon. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley) (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley)
A panoramic view of editing stations in the middle of the WTOP newsroom. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley)
A panoramic view of editing stations in the heart of the WTOP newsroom. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley) (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley)
WTOP's new digital reporting and web development sections feature 24 work stations, all fitted with virtual mixers and microphones — a space age upgrade for the D.C. region's largest all-news format radio oulet. The new office space finally allows for all of WTOP's departments to coexist on the same floor, and is 8,000 square feet larger than the 30-year-old newsroom at Idaho Avenue.(WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP’s new digital reporting and web development sections feature 24 work stations, all fitted with virtual mixers and microphones — a Space Age upgrade for the D.C. region’s largest all-news format radio outlet. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP's new office space, shared with sister station Federal News Radio, is just under 31,000 square feet in an eight-story building just a short walk from the Friendship Heights Metro station in Maryland. The extra space allows for a whole array of new technology, including recording equipment at every station and larger screens for the digital team (pictured). Most work stations also have the ability to convert into standing desks with the push of a button. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The extra space allows for a whole array of new technology, including recording equipment at every station and larger screens for the digital team. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The sales team has a comfortable new seating area. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Anchor Joan Jones tests WTOP's new ad management and audio playback software during an off-air practice run on Jan. 29. While the majority of WTOP's broadcast is recorded live in-house, pre-recorded reporter stories, segment transitions and ads are played back by anchors using the main studio's mixing board. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Anchor Joan Jones tests WTOP’s new ad management and audio playback software during an off-air practice run on Jan. 29. While the majority of WTOP’s broadcast is recorded live in-house, prerecorded reporter stories, segment transitions and ads are run by anchors using the main studio’s mixing board. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP anchor Bruce Alan mans the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center's new mixing board, which controls audio levels and can feed listener calls into the broadcast. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP anchor Bruce Alan mans the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center’s new mixing board, which controls audio levels and can feed listener calls into the broadcast. With this audio mixer, an anchor can also bring in live audio from any of the 47 editing stations throughout the new office, or prerecorded news reports from WTOP’s affiliates. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A close-up view of the main control board in WTOP's new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. With this audio mixer, an anchor can feed live audio from any of the 47 editing stations throughout the new office, or pre-recorded news reports from WTOP's affiliates. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A close-up view of the main control board in WTOP’s new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. “This is where anchors will be able to bring the audience interviews from near and far, and allow us to bring listeners the most extensive coverage of live breaking news in the D.C. region and beyond,” WTOP reporter and anchor Mike Murillo said. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center on Wisconsin Avenue took over from WTOP's old building on Idaho Avenue, which hosted the broadcast for three decades. More naturally lit and modernized, the new office space is surrounded by the restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping centers of Mazza Gallerie and Wisonsin Place on the Maryland side of Chevy Chase. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center on Wisconsin Avenue took over from WTOP’s old building on Idaho Avenue at 10 p.m. on Feb. 2, which hosted the broadcast for three decades. More naturally lit and modernized, the new office space is surrounded by the restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping centers of Mazza Gallerie and Wisconsin Place on the Maryland side of Chevy Chase. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
An co-host's station in the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. Pictured is WTOP's news management software, Burli, with which radio editors feed scripts, audio clips and news reports to the anchors throughout the station's hour-long lineup. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A co-host’s station in the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. Pictured is WTOP’s news management software, Burli, with which radio editors feed scripts, audio clips and news reports to the anchors throughout the station’s hourlong lineup. The main studio is also equipped with a half dozen television monitors, where anchors can monitor the news, weather, traffic and more. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP night editor Anna Isaacs at her work station on Jan. 29. The Radio Editor handles the minute-to-minute flow and coverage of news, including the order of stories in the hourly lineup. They also seek out and book interviews, and direct anchors through breaking news coverage. Like the original WTOP newsroom, the new Radio Editor station has a direct line of sight into the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center, and can communicate with the anchors through intercom. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP night editor Anna Isaacs at her work station on Jan. 29. The Radio Editor handles the minute-to-minute flow and coverage of news, including the order of stories in the hourly lineup. They also seek out and book interviews, and direct anchors through breaking news coverage. Like the original WTOP newsroom, the new Radio Editor station has a direct line of sight into the main studio, and can talk with the anchors through intercom. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The Digital Editor is in charge of overseeing the minute-to-minute coverage of WTOP.com, deciding what stories go on the homepage, editing stories and coordinating with management, radio editors and reporters how stories will be presented online. Pictured is the new Digital Editor's desk, serving as the center of operations for WTOP's website, mobile apps and social media feeds. It comes equipped with a 34-inch curved ultrawide monitor — for a digital editor, there's no such thing as too much screen space. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The Digital Editor handles real-time oversight of WTOP.com, deciding what stories go on the homepage, editing stories and coordinating with management, radio editors and reporters on how stories will be presented online. Pictured is the new Digital Editor’s desk, serving as the center of operations for WTOP’s website and mobile apps. It comes equipped with a 34-inch curved ultrawide monitor — for a digital editor, there’s no such thing as too much screen space. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP traffic reporter Ian Crawford logs on to his station in WTOP's new Traffic Center for a test-run. The new Traffic Center is twice as large as the first, and features twice as many screens. It'll also feature another first for the traffic team: A glass window overlooking the rest of the newsroom. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP traffic reporter Ian Crawford logs on to his station in WTOP’s new Traffic Center — twice as large as the first, and featuring twice as many screens. It also features another first for the traffic team: A glass window overlooking the rest of the newsroom. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP traffic reporter Mary de Pompa at her work station in the new Traffic Center. With more screens and updated technology, the Traffic Center will be able to monitor more camera and scanner feeds for a wider view of the situation on the roads. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP traffic reporter Mary de Pompa at her work station in the new Traffic Center. With more screens and updated technology, the Traffic Center will be able to monitor more cameras and scanner feeds for an even wider view of the situation on the roads. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP reporter Mike Murillo (center) leads WTOP's morning traffic team (from left, Mary de Pompa, Ian Crawford and Jack Taylor) through a demonstration of the newsroom's new virtual system for taking listener phonecalls. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP reporter and anchor Mike Murillo (seated) leads WTOP’s morning traffic team (from left, Mary de Pompa, Ian Crawford and Jack Taylor) through a demonstration of the newsroom’s new software for taking listener phone calls. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Traffic reporter Ian Crawford runs through an off-air test of the Traffic Center's reports "on the 8's." The vertical window at center-right offers a the Traffic Center a view into the new Glass-Enclosed Nervce Center. The traffic center can communicate with the radio editor and anchors in the main studio through an intercom system.(WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Traffic reporter Ian Crawford runs through an off-air test of the Traffic Center’s reports “on the 8’s.” The vertical window at center-right offers the Traffic Center a view into the new Glass-Enclosed Nervce Center. The Traffic Center can communicate with the Radio Editor and anchors through an intercom system. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP reporter Mike Murillo programs and calibrates audio sources feeding into the main studio's brand-new broadcast control board. From this station, an anchor can control WTOP's broadcast in real-time by changing volume levels, toggling dozens of audio feeds and playing pre-recorded ads or news reports. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP reporter Mike Murillo programs and calibrates audio sources into the main studio’s brand-new broadcast control board. From this station, an anchor can control WTOP’s broadcast in real-time by changing volume levels, toggling dozens of audio feeds and playing prerecorded ads or news reports. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A behind-the-scenes view of the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center as an anchor would see it during a broadcast. Pictured at center is Burli, the news management software WTOP's radio editors use to ferry scripts and news reports to anchors inside the main studio. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A behind-the-scenes view of the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center as an anchor would see it during a broadcast. Pictured at center is Burli, the news management software WTOP’s radio editors use to ferry scripts and news reports to anchors inside the main studio. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP's Mike Murillo programs the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center's control console before anchors arrive for a practice run on Jan. 29. The starship-like circular bridge which seats the station's editors can be seen through the glass in the background. Though the studio is sound-proofed, editors can talk with the editors through an intercom system. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The starship-like circular bridge which seats the station’s editors can be seen through the glass in the background. Though the studio is soundproofed, editors can talk with the editors through an intercom system. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new office space at 5425 Wisconsin Avenue will be the first time that WTOP and its sister station for federal employees, Federal News Network (FNN), will be produced from the same floor. FNN's new nameplate is visible here, behind a forest of retractable microphone arms. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new office space at 5425 Wisconsin Avenue will be the first time in years that WTOP and its sister station, Federal News Network (FNN), will be produced from the same floor. FNN’s new nameplate is visible here, behind a forest of retractable microphone arms. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A typical work station at the recently rebranded Federal News Network, WTOP's sister station providing news for federal employees. Mere seconds from the WTOP side of the office, the new building will be the first time both WTOP and WFED have shared the same floor space. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A typical work station at the recently rebranded Federal News Network, WTOP’s sister station providing news for federal employees.(WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A typical reporter work station in WTOP's Wisconsin Avenue newsroom. Most stories from WTOP's radio reporters will be filed from stations like this one, featuring a virtual audio mixer, new system for phone interviews and the ability to go live on-air through the main control board located nearby in the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. They can also convert into standing desks with the push of a button. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A typical reporter work station in WTOP’s Wisconsin Avenue newsroom. Most stories from WTOP’s radio reporters will be filed from stations like this one, featuring a virtual audio mixer, new system for phone interviews and the ability to go live on-air through the main control board located nearby in the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. They can also convert into standing desks with the push of a button. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A new building means a new server room. At the Wisconsin Avenue building, even the servers will be housed on the same floor as WTOP and its sister stations. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A new building means a new server room. At the Wisconsin Avenue building, even the servers will be housed on the same floor as WTOP and its sister stations. It’s windy and noisy in here, with dozens of fans whirling to keep the data center cool. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Regretfully, the original on-air signs will be left behind in the old building — replaced by transparent back-lit signs like this one at the doors to the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve center, which turns bright red when the anchors inside are live. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Regretfully, the original on-air signs will be left behind in the old building — replaced by transparent backlit signs like this one at the doors to the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve center, which turns bright red when the anchors inside are recording. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP anchor Dimitri Sotis familiarizes himself with the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP anchor Dimitri Sotis familiarizes himself with the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. The Jan. 29 winter storm is underway outside, while coincidentally Sotis is seen here practicing a mock weather report. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The start of a new era: WTOP sports anchor Jonathan Warner brings the sport desk's army of bobbleheads to their home. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The start of a new era: WTOP sports anchor Jonathan Warner welcomes the sport desk’s army of bobbleheads to their home. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
It's a work in progress, but the sports desk's bobblehead armada is slowly coming together. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
It’s a work in progress, but the sports desk’s bobblehead armada is slowly coming together. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new office cafe, News Bites, features free coffee, tea and carbonated water dispensers, as well as plenty of seating space with a view of Friendship Heights. Its name was chosen by vote, beating runner-up "#Food4Thought." (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new office cafe, News Bites, features free coffee, tea and carbonated water dispensers, as well as plenty of seating space with a view of Friendship Heights. Its name was chosen by a company-wide vote, beating runner-up “#Food4Thought.” (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A view from the News Bites Cafe over the new reception area. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A view from the News Bites Cafe over the new reception area. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The Wisconsin Avenue building offers much more seating space for staff than the last, spread out over a larger area. This relatively secluded corner, with a mural of the Capitol and a bird's eye view of Western Avenue, is sure to become a certain reporter's favorite space for a breather.(WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The Wisconsin Avenue building offers much more seating space for staff than the last, spread out over a larger area. This relatively secluded corner, with a mural of the Capitol and a bird’s-eye view of Western Avenue, is sure to become a certain reporter’s favorite space for a breather. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A glowing, backlit WTOP logo greets visitors to the new office at 5425 Wisconsin Avenue. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A glowing, backlit WTOP logo greets visitors to the new office at 5425 Wisconsin Avenue. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Like the Idaho Avenue building, the First Amendment will feature prominently in the new office. Pictured, the 45 words which ensrine five freedoms are stenciled on glass panels facing the reception area. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Like the Idaho Avenue building, the First Amendment will feature prominently in the new office. Pictured, the 45 words which enshrine five freedoms are stenciled on glass panels facing the reception area. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez) (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
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The dawn of a new era for WTOP on Feb. 3 — the station's first morning broadcasting out of the new studio on 5425 Wisconsin Avenue. So far, so good. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Sunday, Feb. 3 was the Wisconsin Avenue newsroom's first full day in action. After a smooth handoff from the Idaho Avenue office, WTOP's on-air and web teams were settling in to their new desks. Pictured: Digital writer Jack Moore, hard at work reporting on a controversy enveloping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Dedicated WTOP listeners will likely be familiar with the fabled Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center (GENC), the translucent battleship bridge from which our anchors continously broadcast the news to millions in the D.C. area. The brand-new GENC at 5425 Wisconsin Ave. comes with more space, additional anchor positions, a private coffee machine, and, perhaps most fittingly: More glass. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Bruce Alan and Joan Jones — the voices of WTOP during morning rush hour — conduct an off-air practice run from the new main studio on 5425 Wisconsin Avenue. While WTOP's broadcast format remains the same despite the move, the new studio debuts state-of-the-art software and equipment, assembled and tested over the course of months to ensure a seamless transition from the old building at midnight on Feb. 4. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Morning anchors Joan Jones and Bruce Alan go through a dry run of a standard news broadcast using the Glass Enclosed Nerve Center's new equipment. WTOP's news and advertising management softwares also saw upgrades, and audio engineers trained anchors how to use the new technology in the days leading up to the move. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Starting in early February, WTOP's live anchoring will be produced from six microphones like this one in the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. The vast majority of 5425 Wisconsin Ave.'s technology is brand-new, under construction by Minnesota-based broadcast engineering team RadioDNA since late summer of 2018. WTOP's signal strength won't be impacted by the move, since the station's transmitter will remain at nearby American University. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A panoramic view of editing stations in the middle of the WTOP newsroom. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley)
WTOP's new digital reporting and web development sections feature 24 work stations, all fitted with virtual mixers and microphones — a space age upgrade for the D.C. region's largest all-news format radio oulet. The new office space finally allows for all of WTOP's departments to coexist on the same floor, and is 8,000 square feet larger than the 30-year-old newsroom at Idaho Avenue.(WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP's new office space, shared with sister station Federal News Radio, is just under 31,000 square feet in an eight-story building just a short walk from the Friendship Heights Metro station in Maryland. The extra space allows for a whole array of new technology, including recording equipment at every station and larger screens for the digital team (pictured). Most work stations also have the ability to convert into standing desks with the push of a button. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Anchor Joan Jones tests WTOP's new ad management and audio playback software during an off-air practice run on Jan. 29. While the majority of WTOP's broadcast is recorded live in-house, pre-recorded reporter stories, segment transitions and ads are played back by anchors using the main studio's mixing board. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP anchor Bruce Alan mans the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center's new mixing board, which controls audio levels and can feed listener calls into the broadcast. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A close-up view of the main control board in WTOP's new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. With this audio mixer, an anchor can feed live audio from any of the 47 editing stations throughout the new office, or pre-recorded news reports from WTOP's affiliates. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center on Wisconsin Avenue took over from WTOP's old building on Idaho Avenue, which hosted the broadcast for three decades. More naturally lit and modernized, the new office space is surrounded by the restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping centers of Mazza Gallerie and Wisonsin Place on the Maryland side of Chevy Chase. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
An co-host's station in the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. Pictured is WTOP's news management software, Burli, with which radio editors feed scripts, audio clips and news reports to the anchors throughout the station's hour-long lineup. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP night editor Anna Isaacs at her work station on Jan. 29. The Radio Editor handles the minute-to-minute flow and coverage of news, including the order of stories in the hourly lineup. They also seek out and book interviews, and direct anchors through breaking news coverage. Like the original WTOP newsroom, the new Radio Editor station has a direct line of sight into the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center, and can communicate with the anchors through intercom. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The Digital Editor is in charge of overseeing the minute-to-minute coverage of WTOP.com, deciding what stories go on the homepage, editing stories and coordinating with management, radio editors and reporters how stories will be presented online. Pictured is the new Digital Editor's desk, serving as the center of operations for WTOP's website, mobile apps and social media feeds. It comes equipped with a 34-inch curved ultrawide monitor — for a digital editor, there's no such thing as too much screen space. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP traffic reporter Ian Crawford logs on to his station in WTOP's new Traffic Center for a test-run. The new Traffic Center is twice as large as the first, and features twice as many screens. It'll also feature another first for the traffic team: A glass window overlooking the rest of the newsroom. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP traffic reporter Mary de Pompa at her work station in the new Traffic Center. With more screens and updated technology, the Traffic Center will be able to monitor more camera and scanner feeds for a wider view of the situation on the roads. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP reporter Mike Murillo (center) leads WTOP's morning traffic team (from left, Mary de Pompa, Ian Crawford and Jack Taylor) through a demonstration of the newsroom's new virtual system for taking listener phonecalls. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Traffic reporter Ian Crawford runs through an off-air test of the Traffic Center's reports "on the 8's." The vertical window at center-right offers a the Traffic Center a view into the new Glass-Enclosed Nervce Center. The traffic center can communicate with the radio editor and anchors in the main studio through an intercom system.(WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP reporter Mike Murillo programs and calibrates audio sources feeding into the main studio's brand-new broadcast control board. From this station, an anchor can control WTOP's broadcast in real-time by changing volume levels, toggling dozens of audio feeds and playing pre-recorded ads or news reports. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A behind-the-scenes view of the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center as an anchor would see it during a broadcast. Pictured at center is Burli, the news management software WTOP's radio editors use to ferry scripts and news reports to anchors inside the main studio. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP's Mike Murillo programs the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center's control console before anchors arrive for a practice run on Jan. 29. The starship-like circular bridge which seats the station's editors can be seen through the glass in the background. Though the studio is sound-proofed, editors can talk with the editors through an intercom system. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new office space at 5425 Wisconsin Avenue will be the first time that WTOP and its sister station for federal employees, Federal News Network (FNN), will be produced from the same floor. FNN's new nameplate is visible here, behind a forest of retractable microphone arms. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A typical work station at the recently rebranded Federal News Network, WTOP's sister station providing news for federal employees. Mere seconds from the WTOP side of the office, the new building will be the first time both WTOP and WFED have shared the same floor space. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A typical reporter work station in WTOP's Wisconsin Avenue newsroom. Most stories from WTOP's radio reporters will be filed from stations like this one, featuring a virtual audio mixer, new system for phone interviews and the ability to go live on-air through the main control board located nearby in the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. They can also convert into standing desks with the push of a button. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A new building means a new server room. At the Wisconsin Avenue building, even the servers will be housed on the same floor as WTOP and its sister stations. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Regretfully, the original on-air signs will be left behind in the old building — replaced by transparent back-lit signs like this one at the doors to the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve center, which turns bright red when the anchors inside are live. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
WTOP anchor Dimitri Sotis familiarizes himself with the new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The start of a new era: WTOP sports anchor Jonathan Warner brings the sport desk's army of bobbleheads to their home. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
It's a work in progress, but the sports desk's bobblehead armada is slowly coming together. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The new office cafe, News Bites, features free coffee, tea and carbonated water dispensers, as well as plenty of seating space with a view of Friendship Heights. Its name was chosen by vote, beating runner-up "#Food4Thought." (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A view from the News Bites Cafe over the new reception area. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
The Wisconsin Avenue building offers much more seating space for staff than the last, spread out over a larger area. This relatively secluded corner, with a mural of the Capitol and a bird's eye view of Western Avenue, is sure to become a certain reporter's favorite space for a breather.(WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
A glowing, backlit WTOP logo greets visitors to the new office at 5425 Wisconsin Avenue. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Like the Idaho Avenue building, the First Amendment will feature prominently in the new office. Pictured, the 45 words which ensrine five freedoms are stenciled on glass panels facing the reception area. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)

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