‘Today’ moves to different setup for 7:30 a.m. block

NBC News‘ “Today” began turning the table on its primary anchor desk, a move that better accommodates the de facto third co-anchor.

The setup typically starts at the 7:30 a.m. block, which is when Craig Melvin, who is assigned to the show, will join primary co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb (though on the first day of the arrangement, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, Tom Llamas anchored instead of Melvin).

The new layout keeps Guthrie to the center of the desk, with Kotb camera right.

Meanwhile, the third co-anchor still sits camera left, roughly mirroring Kotb’s position.

The background provides viewers with a long view of much of the rest of Studio 1A, especially in wider framing.

Camera right is the LED video panels in the so-called production area, which display a step-and-repeat style graphic with the show’s logo, which has some similarities to the various logo backgrounds that older versions of the set featured in the east corner of the studio that could be rolled into place to cover the windows.

Kotb sits in front of the backlit color-changing sliding door leading to backstage storage and a prep kitchen that sports an oversized interpretation of the show’s sunrise icon.

Guthrie is positioned roughly in front of one of the vertical LED columns with curved white caps that displays what appears to be a digital continuation of the door next to it. This graphic appeared to be updated slightly to better match the curves in the sliding door.


The far camera left position ends up in front of a part of the 40-foot curved video wall the network installed in the space in 2018

It has been featuring a small scale virtual set extension image that combines a view of the flags ringing Rockefeller Plaza as if viewed through a window.

A previously simulated view of Rockefeller Plaza on the video wall. 

Unlike other simulated window views of the plaza, that often featured simulated mullions and headers, this one adds in additional faux structural elements, including a light wood wall designed to make the image faux window look as if it’s situated farther back than it is.

Monday, Feb. 13, 2023’s view was updated later in the week.

Earlier in the week, there was also an additional blue segment to the left of the wood, but this was removed later and replaced with a wider “windowed” view of the plaza. An orange segment along the top was also removed, but a thin, glassy floating border remained.

The simulated windows on the video wall, meanwhile, still have a blue border element that mimics the multi-layered look found in the production area windows.

The show also brings in a sofa and coffee table, which sits empty in the background bathed in blue light accent.

In many ways, this position is similar to one added in a 2013 renovation to Studio 1A, which briefly abandoned using the east corner as home base background, instead flipping everything around in a similar way to this latest setup.

Prior to the 2023 change, “Today” would typically shoot its three anchor setup using the windowed background with the vertical LED panel showing a live feed from a locked down camera overlooking the plaza.

When shot straight on, this was meant as an attempt to create the illusion of a seamless array of windows, though shooting it even slightly from a different angle would cause the effect to be reduced.

In this setup, Guthrie would typically sit in front of that panel, Kotb to the right and the third anchor to the left.