PBS’s ‘Washington Week’ upgrades discussion with move to new facility, studio

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PBS’s long-running political analysis program “Washington Week with The Atlantic” has moved into a new home, sharing a state-of-the-art studio with its sister show “PBS News Hour” in an expanded facility at WETA in Arlington, Virginia.

The move, which took place on June 21, 2024, marks an upgrade for the weekly program that has been a staple of public broadcasting since 1967.

The new studio, designed by Eric Siegel and George Allison, offers a modern, versatile space that maintains the show’s commitment to in-depth political discourse while embracing cutting-edge broadcast technology.

At the heart of the “Washington Week” set is a custom-designed discussion table reflecting the program’s roundtable format.

“Good evening and welcome to ‘Washington Week’ and to our new studio here at WETA. If you notice the table, I built it myself,” quipped moderator Jeffrey Goldberg.

The new discussion table is equipped with built-in speakers, decorative lighting and controllable cosmetic uplights for each of the three sides, ensuring that panelists are presented in the best possible light, both figuratively and literally.

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The visual centerpiece of the set dressing is a high-resolution photograph of the White House, commissioned specifically for the show from DC-based photographer Andrew Geraci. This backdrop is a constant reminder of the seat of executive power that is often the focus of the program’s discussions.

Rendering of the new discussion table.

Two large translucent branding panels have been added to the set, helping to distinguish the “Washington Week” look from that of “PBS News Hour” while maintaining a cohesive overall design aesthetic.

The shared space features a 25-foot LED wall, which can display graphics, remote guests or virtual set extensions, offering flexibility for both programs.

The new facility also boasts state-of-the-art lighting designed by Dennis Size and Alex Kyle-Dipietropaolo of The Lighting Design Group.

Previously, “Washington Week” broadcast from the same facility as “PBS News Hour,” but with a dedicated set that was assembled each week from multiple moving pieces. 

Moving to this new, technologically advanced studio reflects the evolving media landscape while honoring “Washington Week’s” long-standing tradition. This shared facility represents a significant upgrade for “Washington Week” and underscores PBS’s ongoing commitment to journalism, especially in an election year.

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