In mid-to-late February, CNBC will formally unveil a new set on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The location of the set (in the middle of the floor in a spot formerly occupied by trading booth #9) and the size of it (12 feet wide, 23 feet long, 12 feet high, 16,000 pounds), are unprecedented for a financial news outlet.
“We love buzz, and every morning they are going to ring the bell up in that balcony, it will be like broadcasting from Times Square, where every day is New Years Eve,” CNBC anchor Carl Quintanilla told us on the NYSE trading floor.
Indeed, the set is no more than 10 feet from where the opening and closing bells are rung, directly underneath the balcony that viewers routinely see on cable news (see below).
CNBC will be keeping its space on a separate balcony overlooking the trading floor, where it will be used primarily by producers and technicians, who can control small robotic cameras that will be mounted to a custom track system on the new set. Quintanilla says that being at ground-level will be a significant upgrade to the current setup.
“The balcony has been a great home, [Mark] Haines made it work, but sometimes we feel like Statler and Waldorf from the ‘Muppet Show,’ commenting from the balcony,” Quintanilla says. “Here [motions to the set] you are in arms reach of the traders making markets and stocks, it is as close as you can get.”
The new set is in clear view of the current space (you can see Quintanilla, Jim Cramer and Melissa Lee on CNBC’s current set in the upper left-hand corner in the photo below), but it is certainly much closer to the action. Visitors to the current set have to climb a narrow, steep staircase, an issue that won’t be a problem on the trading floor… although harried traders might be.
Fabrication on the set began eight weeks ago in Long Island City, New York, and CNBC had to reinforce the floor under the set with steel before constructing it. There are five LED monitors, including a large touchscreen to showcase data.
“Everything we do is based on delivering data as best we can,” Quintanilla says.
A desk and some other furniture will be added in the coming weeks.