MSNBC uses CNN graphic behind anchor

MSNBC got caught in a bit of an awkward position this afternoon.

In a variety of segments originating from the network’s fourth floor newsroom, the video wall behind the anchor and guest was filled with a photo collage of debate themed imagery, including one that featured a graphic reading “Debate Night in America.”

So, what’s the problem? The branding and image are CNN’s.

CNN brands under the “Debate Night in America” or “Election Night in America” moniker, while MSNBC falls under NBC News’ “Decision 2016” umbrella.

The image used on the video wall appears to be a screen capture taken from a CNN feed; indeed one very similar to this one that was used last night:


It’s worth noting that NBC Sports uses the similar-sounding name “Football Night in America,” for its NFL coverage.


On-set monitors in a working newsroom environment such as the one in the fourth floor newsroom MSNBC uses as a background can sometimes end up showing a competitor’s feed on air — albeit typically either very small or blurred.

However, what’s particularly interesting about MSNBC’s slip up is that this background graphic was pre-prepared to simulate a monitor wall look but wasn’t taking in live feeds where it might otherwise be unavoidable to show a competitor’s feed.