MSNBC’s ‘Ayman’ debuts from old ‘Nightly News’ studio

MSNBC’s latest weekend program “Ayman” debuted Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, from the former home of “NBC Nightly News.”

Anchored by Ayman Mohyeldin, the show leveraged a look that blended gradients with angular elements, mostly eschewing the flatter “MSNBC Reports” look, though it did use the network’s standard lower third style and some animations.

Mohyeldin introduced started off each hour standing next to the “video tower” in the “Nightly” part of Studio 3A, formerly designated as Studio 3C and now sometimes known as Studio 3AW.

“Nightly News” moved to Studio 1A across the street permanently Monday, Sept. 13, 2021.

The studio had some minor cosmetic updates, including new floor decal simulating white marble just like the new design in Studio 1A.

The set originally debuted as home of “Nightly” in July 2017 and was updated in November 2020, switching most of the wood accents to silvery gray.


For “Ayman,” the studio’s flexibility was showcased, with the color changing backlighting switched to a teal-blue and video walls switched over the matching graphics, including topical imagery. 

The “Ayman” open and graphics featured a mix of imagery of Mohyeldin and Rockefeller Center, including a tall shot of the 30 Rock tower shown atop of the tower while the “jigsaw” LED panels camera left had coordinating looks. 

For other segments, Mohyeldin moved over to the “vista wall” alcove with a view of Rock Center’s lower flors interspersed with additional blue gradients.

The desk, which now sports an MSNBC logo on a glossy white box used to cover where an integrated backlit NBC News logo is, was parked, as seems to be a new NBC trend, behind many of Mohyeldin’s standing shots but also was used for panel segments.

Mohyeldin also used the circular “pod” with glass top that Holt previously used during many standing shots for an interview segment, with the video feed of the remote interviewee on the video tower and his one shot framed against the “news wall” on the opposite side of the studio from the alcove.

Meanwhile, NBC is still at work updating the larger, neighboring part of 3A to become a new studio for MSNBC programming. That look is expected to debut later this fall. 

“Ayman” purposefully avoided shooting toward the now covered openings that once overlooked the adjoining studio’s workstations. 

Other NBC and MSNBC productions have also been using the “Nightly” space, even when it still occupied the studio on a permanent basis, especially with the rest of 3A unavailable during renovation.