Cables hang from open raceways overhead and parts of NBC’s 30 Rock headquarters don’t have air conditioning.
But on Monday, NBC will complete the physical integration of NBC News with MSNBC, part of a multimillion renovation of the third and fourth floors of the 69-year-old art-deco gem.
“Today, all of NBC News’ home base of operations is finally where it should be — under one roof,” NBC News prexy Steve Capus said.
MSNBC staff was physically moved from Secaucus, N.J. to NBC News World Headquarters at 30 Rock over the weekend. The staffs of “Nightly News,” “Dateline,” NBC’s longform unit and NBC News Radio will all be grouped by function within the integrated facility.
Today MSNBC will broadcast from 30 Rock, starting with “Morning Joe” at 6 a.m. “Nightly News with Brian Williams” will air from a new adjacent studio designed to foster collaboration between the cable and broadcast operations.
Williams’ new set in studio 3C is equipped with a 16-foot high-def projection screen powered by two moviehouse style projectors to provide larger-than life video as a backdrop.
Sliding glass doors between “Nightly” and MSNBC will allow Williams to walk from one set to another to continue anchoring when the news warrants.
MSNBC’s bigger studio 3A is equipped with an anchor platform on a 50-foot-long motorized track that can move between sets, a wall with 36 monitors and a 31-foot long catwalk above the anchor platform for additional stand-ups.
The project, which began in February and will be completed next year, involved the transformation of a building built for radio high-tech facilities with two joined studios that will produce 12.5 hours of live television each day.
The three buildings that comprise 30 Rockefeller Center, completed in 1939, were not built with air conditioning or digital technology in mind, and the renovation, overseen by NBC News exec VP Robert Dembo required complicated duct work snaking around the 70-story tower’s concrete skeleton.
Windows that had been blocked off for decades were opened up during the renovation. Newsrooms are positioned around the outside of the structure to take advantage of natural light, while the two-story studios are located in the core of the skyscraper.
The windows are protected by the building’s landmark status, and thus can’t be changed, but Dembo is looking to preserve other vestiges of the building’s past, including the now-vestigial mail chutes and the deco doors of the elevator banks.