For all the devoted Diane Rehm Show listeners worried that public broadcasting is on its way out, take a breath. Apparently, National Public Radio is doing just fine.
NPR recently moved its 800-member staff into a new 400,000 square-foot headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown. FishbowlDC toured the $201 million facility, which includes a “wellness center, which is capable of simple medical procedures, the fitness center, which is staffed by a trainer, and the cafe, which utilizes the same catering company as Google.” There is a landscaped plaza, a store, a 250-seat performance studio, and “30-minute rooms” for recording phone interviews or holding small meetings that glow when occupied. The studios change color according to use, too. The lobby hosts floor-to-ceiling museum-style exhibits, and the elevators feature the voice of Morning Edition correspondent Susan Stamberg. Additionally, the building is expected to be LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, in part, no doubt, thanks to the beehives the organization raises “to help pollinate its green roofs.”
“We’re in Oz here, it’s so fabulous,” Stamberg told reporters. You know, come to think of it, NPR does often seem to exist in a fantasy land . . .