Soon, if all goes according to plan, Keith Olbermann, Tucker Carlson, and many of their colleagues at MSNBC will stroll into the historic confines of 30 Rockefeller Center for work every day, instead of some depressing industrial park in New Jersey. And they'll have New York taxpayers to thank for the honor.
The MSNBC move—some of the third-ranked cable network's operations will go from its Seacaucus, New Jersey, headquarters to 30 Rock; the rest will merge with CNBC's facilities in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey—is part of NBC Universal's cost-slashing reorganization, in which more than 700 jobs will be eliminated, many of them in New York.
But also motivating the move is a corporate welfare program offered by the city and state of New York that is, ironically, designed to increase the number of jobs in the city. "They are getting some pretty direct help" from the city, says a TV news insider familiar with NBC's negotiations with the city over moving to 30 Rock. "Part of the equation that NBC parent GE made was predicated on this assistance."