Inside NBC News and MSNBC on Election Night 2016

By Chris Ariens 

When you see James Carville with a cell phone to his ear, pacing the hallway, and you hear the words Florida and Trump, you know it’s going to be a long night.

That was just one of the things we spotted when we stopped by Rockefeller Center tonight where both NBC News and MSNBC are producing live election night specials. On the new NBC News set, which was carved out of an existing studio used primarily by MSNBC, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Savannah Guthrie and Tom Brokaw gave results and analyzed the vote. On the MSNBC set, Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews and Eugene Robinson did the same, for a different audience. Nicolle Wallace got the frequent walker award as she traveled between the two sets on the third and fourth floors of the Comcast Building.

In the packed MSNBC control room, pizza was passed around as network president Phil Griffin, and eps John Reiss and Pat Burkey produced the night’s coverage while on the seventh floor, in the NBC News control room, news president Deborah Turness worked alongside specials ep Mark Lukasiewicz and Bob Epstein. We also stopped to chat briefly with NBC News chairman Andy Lack who was shuttling between the two control rooms.


From Turness’ fourth floor office a crowd gathered in Rockefeller Plaza, dubbed Democracy Plaza for the election. While the skating rink remained ice white, TV viewers would see states go red and blue as Trump and Clinton took certain states.


The MSNBC news set around 8:20 p.m. on election night 2016.



Correspondents Pete Williams, Cynthia McFadden, Ari Melber and Cal Perry in the NBC Newsroom.


Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie checking out their devices as Lester Holt talks with Andrea Mitchell by remote.


Steve Kornacki preparing for his next MSNBC live report.