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The NBC Page Uniform Through 90 Years of Change

Behind this navy blazer beats a mighty heart


January 16, 2024

If you’ve spent any time at NBCUniversal in New York or LA, you have seen them. Though few, NBC pages are seemingly everywhere all at once with their cheerful smiles, lapel pins and that instantly recognizable uniform. The NBC Page uniform is as iconic as the NBC peacock emblem, and it represents a special place in television history. And just like the television and media industry, the uniform has evolved quite a bit over the decades.

Let’s roll tape back to the 1930s. There have been uniformed NBC pages as long as there has been an NBC, but when the network first moved into Rockefeller Center in 1933, the broadcast headquarters remade itself as a major tourist destination. Pages and guides followed suit, pun intended, dressing the part of expert guides and ambassadors to eager tourists.

In those early years, the page uniform was a type of livery along the lines of a bellhop, or the drum major of a marching band. Male pages wore a trim double-breasted black uniform with brass buttons, cuff stripes, epaulets, and a golden braided aiguillette. That basic look would remain with just a few subtle variations over the years.


Above: Page Adam Gayeck modeling the uniform in April 1935.


West Coast Page Lucien Dilatush (kneeling, left) at the opening of Hollywood Radio City at NBC Studios Burbank, Oct. 2, 1938.

During the war years, male pages became scarce as young men were increasingly called into service. Women joined the Page Program for the first time in September 1943, and they brought a new uniform into vogue. An open-throated white blouse, tan jacket, black skirt, and shoes completed a look of modern simplicity well suited to an age that saw women breaking into traditional male professions.


NBC Pagettes Kitty Kent, Martha Maxwell, Marie Garvey, Bernadette Mitchell, Dorothy De Pue, Regina Fleming, Doris Thurston, Elaine Frailey, Martha Horner on July 27, 1943.


NBC Studio Tour -- 1950 New York Studio Tour -- Pictured: NBC page shows new television technology on a studio tour -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

The postwar years saw an explosion of broadcasting as Americans switched from radio to television and listeners became viewers. Those years also saw the beginnings of profound social change and progress towards Civil Rights. In 1954, Gene Whitlock became the first Black NBC page, serving a tour of duty on the TODAY show alongside the morning program’s first Black stage manager, Fred Lights.


NBC Page, Gene Whitlock, during an Ebony Magazine shoot on August 12, 1954. Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Styles got wilder in the 60s, at least for women pages, who went through several iconic looks from the Age of Aquarius. One iteration involved a thigh-high tan dress over a white blouse with white go-go boots.

The men’s uniform, by contrast, continued its slow evolution from quasi-military to business attire. Gone were the epaulettes and aiguillettes, and stiff trousers were replaced with slacks. The double-breasted jacket, however, remained.


NBC Pages D. Shiarella and R. Coleman during "A Day in the Life of a Page" in March 1962 -- Photo by: Bob Ganley NBC/NBCU Photo Bank


Pictured are 3 uniform decals from Hank Smith, NY Page in 1967.


A group of pages pose with Johnny Carson in 1970.

It may have been the era of the Wall Street suit, but the 1980s saw a turn away from formality in the workplace, and page uniforms followed suit. Biz casually reigned supreme as dark colors gave way to khaki skirts and slacks, red ties, and loafers. For men, however, the double-breasted brass buttons still held on as a callback to the original uniform.


An NBC page leads a tour at The Tonight Show studio in Burbank, 1988.

The double row of buttons finally disappeared from the page outfit in the 1990s. A single-breasted navy blazer became standard, just as pages began making TV appearances, first on Carson, and later on the Late Show with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live.


A group of East Coast women pages in uniform, 1995.


A West Coast Page giving a tour in Burbank in the late 1990s.

In the late 90s and into the early 2000s female Pages wore a navy-blue shift dress with a matching blazer from Casual Corner. They were also required to wear navy-blue stockings and navy-blue shoes. Men wore a navy-blue blazer as well, with gray pants and a loud colorful tie adorned with peacock feathers. This tie would forever be memorialized by the Kenneth character on 30 Rock.

And then, there’s Kenneth. In the 2000s, 30 Rock’s lovably odd, irrepressibly cheerful Kenneth Parcell immortalized the NBC page as a pop culture icon.


Jack McBrayer in character as Kenneth the page, alongside real-life page Ian McIees, 2009.

The page uniform was completely revamped by Brooks Brothers in 2008, and pages sported their sleek gray flannel look for the next several years. Also, for the first time, female pages now had the option to wear either skirts or slacks.


East Coast pages (left to right) Mike DeRienzo, Eve Penzer and Aimee Yogg pose in Brooks Brothers gray outside 30 Rockefeller Center during the 2009 Holiday season.

The 80th anniversary of the NBC Page Program in 2013 saw yet another redesign of the uniform, this time by Cintas. It was the return of the navy blazer. This tastefully retro styling paid homage to the long and venerable tradition of network pages. It also updated the uniform with clean modern lines and gray accessories adorned with small navy peacock logos.


A cohort of West Coast pages pose in the Cintas uniforms, 2015

As the NBC Page Program incredibly celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, the uniform has hewed to those same lines, with a few color updates.


Close-up of East Coast Page Eleni Kothesakis’ uniform sporting the 90th anniversary pin, 2023.

Through nine decades of tumultuous, world-historical change, NBC pages have been a mainstay, cheerfully meeting new challenges and in some ways leading the way toward change. And the page uniform, instantly familiar to millions worldwide, has rolled with those changes.

Today’s pages can be seen taking a more casual approach to the uniform, being given the freedom to wear any variety of black footwear. What lies in store for the NBC pages in the future? With a 100th centenary anniversary fast approaching, what kind of change will they face… and how will they dress for it? There is a lot of responsibility on those padded shoulders!

How to become an NBCUniversal Page

Interested in wearing the navy blazer?

If you are a college graduate dreaming of a media career, we encourage you to apply to the NBCUniversal Page Program. For application details and timelines, follow the program on Instagram, or check out the NBCUniversal Careers Site.