‘Nightly’ returns to its old stomping grounds

NBC Nightly News” returned to its old home on the west side of Studio 3A inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza Nov. 2, 2022 and managed to mimic many of the blocking it introduced when making its move.

The move is temporary, sources say, as Studio 1A’s availability has been limited due to preparation for election coverage.

The set was originally built in 2017 as the new home for “Nightly.” The broadcast used it until September 2021, when it moved to 1A across the street in 10 Rockefeller Plaza, also the longtime home of “Today.”

Most recently, 3A, which is sometimes known as Studio 3AW and occupies the space formerly occupied by Studio 3C, has become home of the new “NBC News Daily” afternoon news program.

Instead of the 40-foot curved video wall, “Nightly” started the broadcast with anchor Lester Holt standing in front of the new anchor desk introduced for “Daily.”

The desk was placed in front of the south video wall, which is normally the main background for “Daily,” and stood in for the main video wall in 1A.

The so-called tower on the west side of the studio was incorporated into the push-in, displaying the date, an attempt to mimic how it’s displayed on one of the vertical monitor carts in the “Today” space (albeit flipped horizontally).

Advertisement

One thing that was mostly missing from “Nightly” Nov. 3 is the video on video shots the broadcast typically shows on the smaller, flat video wall in 1A. It did use the mobile monitor unit for select shots, while other imagery and graphics that likely would have been shown on 1A video arrays were simply shown fullscreen.

One graphic on the Federal Reserve interest rate hike that used a photo and red sidebar could easily be compared to how “Nightly” has been using one of the vertical panels and flat video wall in 1A in a single shot, as shown in the image below taken from another edition of the broadcast.

Meanwhile, the Down Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing numbers were shown in a three-column layout that is easy to envision on the production area video wall in 1A with the six-panel motorized array there set in three groups of two.

Other story intros had Holt sitting at the high circular table that came with the original 3A design and with the tower camera right showing topical graphics with text headlines, mimicking how he introduces the bulk of other stories from a small desk placed in front of the flat video wall (again, this arrangement was flipped horizontally due to how 3A is laid out).

In most cases, the south video wall was still visible on camera during these shots and featured additional topical imagery. 

The jigsaw LED array camera left of the video tower was typically fed with the generic white, gold and blue oversized logotype graphics that are fed to the LED columns and headers in 1A during “Nightly.”

Interestingly, at one point a video on video floating cameras shot of one of the vertical panels in 1A was used to showcase the number of days left until the election, with elements of the set clearly visible, though it’s not clear if this was taped beforehand or was piped in live from across the street.

The block that normally features Holt in front of the production area array was done from the vista alcove on the north side of 3A and included a camera move that incorporated both that area and the movable monitor, which was placed camera right of that area.

Finally, Holt introduced the kicker from in front of the south video wall, just like he typically goes back to the largest one in 1A for the end of the broadcast.

“Nightly” isn’t the only show that’s been displaced leading up to the election. Several MSNBC shows that normally use that network’s side of 3A have moved to alternate locations in order to make the other space available for election night rehearsals, including augmented reality and virtual set technology, according to sources.

Advertisement

This includes “Deadline: White House” and “Morning Joemoving to Studio 6A and other programming moving down to Studio 4E.

Sign up for NewscastStudio's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest broadcast industry news to your inbox including new debuts, case studies, thought leadership and broadcast gear updates.