Recording Studio Expands Video Options and Hours

Posted January 23, 2004 at 5:10pm

The House Recording Studio expanded its operation last week to offer longer hours and more services to Members.

The expansion of the recording studio, which is managed by the House Chief Administrative Officer, includes the addition of a single-camera video studio, extended evening hours, and remote video services for select events and votes.

“This is a bipartisan effort generated from the leadership of both parties,” said Brian Walsh, the majority spokesman for the House Administration Committee, which oversees the CAO.

The recording studio, located in the Rayburn House Office Building, will now be available to Members until 10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday when the House is in session and votes are scheduled. The recording studio had previously closed at 5:30 p.m. those days. [IMGCAP(1)]

“It will be very helpful to Members, especially those Members on the West Coast, to communicate back to their districts and their constituents,” Walsh said.

The new single-camera video studio allows Members to record “non-interactive” statements, which can include public service announcements.

Additionally, Members will be able to gain more face time on camera through the new remote services, which will be used for “stand-up” interviews at locations around the Capitol grounds.

That service will apply only to events designated by House majority or minority leadership, which is expected to announce the availability, date, time and location prior to the event. Members will sign up for the service through the recording studio itself.

Members will be billed for the remote video service, which costs about $50 per five minutes, through their Member’s Representational Allowance. If multiple Members use the service, the cost will be divided between the participants, according to a “Dear Colleague” letter announcing the new service.

Pre-election blackout rules will apply to the video broadcasts, barring Members from using the service within 90 days of a primary or general election in which they are a candidate.

The expanded services, which began Jan. 20, have already garnered positive feedback from a number of offices, according to Beth Bellizzi, minority spokeswoman for House Administration.

“It will make a difference for folks in rural areas who were starved for more access to these communications tools,” Bellizzi noted.