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A capital Nat’l Geo complex

Channel builds D.C. prod'n facility

The National Geographic Channel U.S. has begun construction on a multimillion-dollar digital media production house in Washington.

“We have assembled a team of award-winning media architects who have beautifully translated our vision of the studio as an open window to the unparalleled resources of National Geographic,” NGC U.S. prexy Lauren Ong said Monday.

Studio is said to feature a multimedia news set with various side sets for interviews, special assignment features, digitally enhanced segments and online content.

“Base camp”

Housed at the National Geographic Society’s headquarters, the studio will serve as “base camp” for combining National Geographic’s unique worldwide resources with a newly established network news org led by ABC News and “Nightline” vet Mark Nelson, who has joined NGC U.S. as veep and executive news producer.

Nelson — who will report directly to Andrew Carl Wilk, exec VP of the programming, production and news division for the National Geographic Channel — will lead a team of 60 reporters, producers, editors, photojournalists and technicians who will operate out of the web’s new home base.

Nightly newscasts

In addition, Nelson will oversee all inhouse news operations as an extension of National Geographic’s established global media operations. He will integrate those resources into 7 and 10 p.m. ET nightly newscasts, which hold the working title “National Geographic Today.” Show will provide viewers unique access to scientists, explorers, environmentalists, writers, photographers and others, blended in with hard news.

“Like most of us, I grew up reading National Geographic magazine and have great admiration and affection for the Society and its mission,” said Nelson. “I’ve always wanted to be involved in a start-up news organization, so taking a leadership role in the formation of a news division connected to the unique resources of National Geographic is a dream come true.”

A 17-year veteran of the Alphabet web’s news division, Nelson last served as senior broadcast producer for “Nightline,” holding the post since 1991.

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