A crisis communications lawyer and regular guest on national news programs is planning to transform a room on the first floor of a historic building on Broad Street into a state-of-the-art TV broadcast studio.
Josh Nass purchased 61 Broad St., a four-story office building, for $1.72 million earlier this year. He’s planning to convert a conference room into a remote broadcast studio where elected officials can film live commentary and interviews on national network TV shows, a place where businesses can shoot commercials or marketing videos, a location for national TV hosts to use when they are “on location” in the Holy City and more.
“It's going to be open and available to everybody,” Nass said.
After moving to Charleston from New York during the pandemic, Nass fell in love with the city and the history and prominence of Broad Street.
“I've always been a fan of Broad Street and South of Broad and when the building came on the market, I got to work quickly,” Nass said. “Broad Street is one of Charleston's most charming, historic and architecturally favorable and appealing blocks. I want to give Broad Street the panache that it deserves.”
Nass said he came up with the idea to bring a broadcast studio downtown after filming a segment in Charleston’s nearest remote studio inside a modest home in Mt. Pleasant.
“I realized there was a void in the market,” Nass said.
He said national networks have already shown interest in the future studio.
“We've had talks with senior folks at some major cable networks and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive,” Nass said. “They want there to be a remote studio they can rely on from a production quality standpoint and a place where a noteworthy guest who may be visiting Charleston for the weekend can use.”
It will take around two years to outfit the studio at 61 Broad St. and get it up and running. The Steinberg Law firm remains as a tenant in the building.
Overseeing the development and construction plans will be Jonathan Wachtel, former senior executive producer at Fox News and former communications director for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley when she was ambassador to the United Nations. Plans include outfitting the studio room with two spaces — one for filming and an additional room/booth for a producer.
Nass said the broadcast studio will have direct access to an outdoor patio that guests can use before or after a segment. Nass said future plans include bringing a rooftop area online and adding a small café or dessert bar.
“We've been talking to a series of internationally-renowned architects exploring different ideas for the first floor of the building,” Nass said. “This is not going to be just any remote studio. This is going to be a studio on par with what any of these networks and affiliate studios look like. It’s going to replicate exactly what the guests would get if they were seated inside the headquarters for CNN in Atlanta, in New York or in Los Angeles. It’s going to be a tremendous value add to the city and a place where, say, CNN can drive noteworthy guests to when they are in town — whether it's Nicki Haley, Nancy Mace, Tim Scott or Governor (Henry) McMaster.”
Nass said he expects the studio to create a handful of local jobs in broadcasting and producing and will hopefully elevate and reinvent one of Charleston’s most historic streets.
“Broad Street used to be all law firms. It was exciting to have an office down there. Now, everybody's headed to Morrison Avenue. I think Broad Street has an opportunity to reinvent itself in a way that preserves the architectural integrity and create new reasons for people to be drawn to it,” Nass said. “I think having a broadcast hub will put Charleston on more of a global stage.”