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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Breaks Ground on New Office of Cable Television Headquarters

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Breaks Ground on New Office of Cable Television Headquarters

New Office of Cable Television Headquarters

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray officially broke ground today on the site of the new headquarters for the District’s Office of Cable Television (OCT). Joined by OCT Director Eric E. Richardson and Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian J. Hanlon, Mayor Gray celebrated the beginning of construction at OCT’s new facility in Ward 5, which will house the District’s public, educational and governmental (PEG) television stations – TV-13, District of Columbia Network (DCN) and District Knowledge Network (DKN).

“OCT plays a vital role in creating a more transparent government and highlighting the many outstanding accomplishments of our residents and community,” said Mayor Gray. “Altogether, this project marks a significant step forward in increasing the number of District agencies housed in District-owned buildings. We are proud to find a permanent home for the agency that will allow for growth, expansion of services and reduced leasing expenses.”

Located at 1899 9th Street NE, the facility housed the former Black Entertainment Television (BET) headquarters under a long-term land lease. The District government purchased the property in 2010 to serve as OCT’s new permanent home. The 30,525-square-foot facility will feature two television production studios – standard definition and high definition, editing suites, meeting space and administrative offices.

“Since becoming agency director in 2007, finding a permanent space has been one of my administration’s main priorities. This is the agency’s fifth relocation since it was established in 1986,” OCT Director Eric E. Richardson said. “We are excited to be here today preparing to move to a location that will allow OCT the opportunity to invest capital for its current and future technology needs and provide us with the flexibility that comes with managing our own space.”

Located near the New York Avenue corridor, the new location provides many attributes including proximity, cost savings and accessibility that make it conducive for the agency. 

The project renovation will include replacing the roof, renovation of exterior and interior structures, build-out of the production studios and installation of the television broadcast equipment. The project is slated for completion in fall 2013.

“DGS is excited to begin its work to renovate the new Office of Cable Television site and provide our sister agency with a new state-of-the-art facility that will support the great work OCT does for the District of Columbia,” said Hanlon.

In addition to preparing for relocation, OCT has been making significant moves in updating the on-air look, feel and content of the channels. A new programming slate on DCN and DKN – which includes new programming that focuses on the community and appeals to residents’ interest in government, public affairs and lifestyle programming – was launched in 2012. OCT also announced plans for future collaborations with BET and other media enterprises located in the surrounding jurisdictions.

OCT is the agency responsible for regulating cable television in the District, as well as the administration of the District’s public, educational and governmental (PEG) access channels TV-13, District of Columbia Network (DCN) and the District Knowledge Network (DKN). OCT creates content that informs, educates and entertains viewers via its television channels, multimedia and social media outlets. The award-winning content provides resourceful information on District government activity, education, current events, history and arts and entertainment.