New York -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg Thursday welcomed MSNBC to Manhattan at a reception for the grand opening of the NBC News World Headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Operations for MSNBC, which have been located in Secaucus, N.J., since the cable channel’s launch in July 1996, are being moved and consolidated with those of NBC News, in a facility – the new “headquarters” -- that includes 8,500 square feet of renovated, state-of-the-art studio space.
During a star-studded reception Thursday night at the new studios, Bloomberg told the crowd that he was “thrilled” that MSNBC was moving to the Big Apple from New Jersey. But the mayor added that he never says anything bad about New Jersey because his mother is from Jersey City and because “there are a lot of electoral votes” in New Jersey – a cheeky allusion to Bloomberg’s rumored ambition to want to run for President.
The mayor quickly assured the crowd that he was joking, but added, “Can’t you keep a secret?” Bloomberg also proclaimed Thursday “NBC News Day.”
In addition to Bloomberg, NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker and NBC News president Steve Capus addressed the guests at the reception, a crowd that included NBC News talent such as Today’s Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry; Nightly News anchor Brian Williams; and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Dan Abrams.
Zucker said that NBC News and MSNBC “are among the most important symbols of NBC Universal,” and the things that “define it.”
Olbermann also addressed the room full of NBC News employees, saying, “You represent what we’re getting used to: viewers,” a joke about MSNBC’s ratings-challenged history.
Always a cut-up, Olbermann feigned licking an ice sculpture, a replica of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, before running down the hall to do his 8 p.m. show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
NBC News and MSNBC will officially start broadcasting from the new studios Oct. 22.