The primetime news magazine show will end in June.
“Just when you think somebody might figure out when it’s on and want to see it the next week, they move it to another place,” said the former Nightline anchor who contributes to the NBC newsmagazine. “That’s not helpful, and I think Brian [Williams] deserves more support than that.”
Brian Williams is about to start distancing himself from his struggling NBC news magazine show Rock Center With Brian Williams, sources say.
Rock Center will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, an hour earlier than its previous slot. From the show’s Halloween premiere last fall through the end of January, it was shown on Monday nights.
The veteran NBC Sports anchor was in a Rock Center Manhattan studio for an interview with Sandusky’s lawyer, Joseph Amendola, when the lawyer said, “What if I can get Sandusky on the phone?”
Newsy Ramps Up For 24/7 News
On a night when nearly every show on broadcast was down from last week, likely due to Halloween, NBC’s new newsmagazine Rock Center with Brian Williams got off to a poor start. The new show averaged a 1.0 rating in the 10 p.m. timeslot last night in its premiere, below even what the drama The Playboy Club had been averaging in the timeslot before it was canceled. Rock drew 4.1 million viewers, which was better than Playboy‘s last two outings but still a very distant third in the timeslot.
Tom Bettag, formerly of CNN, Nightline and CBS Evening News, will be a segment producer for Brian Williams’ upcoming newsmagazine.
A 30-second commercial during NBC’s new Rock Center with Brian Williams news magazine, which debuts next Monday at 10 p.m., is commanding an average of $110,000, according to media buyers familiar with the matter. That’s much higher than the paltry-for-primetime average $74,273 that 30 seconds cost during the now-canceled The Playboy Club.
The longtime ABC Nightline anchor joins Harry Smith and Meredith Vieira as correspondents on the upcoming primetime newsmagazine.
CBS News boss Jeff Fager is angry after losing some talent to rival NBC as the Peacock network gears up to launch a primetime news magazine this fall. The magazine, Rock Center With Brian Williams — run by former 60 Minutes executive producer Rome Hartman — is acting as a honey pot for producers and associate producers looking to join the first meaty primetime news show to launch on a broadcast network in years, sources said.
The odds of succeeding with any newsmagazine are tough in the age of instant information on cable, the Internet and smartphones. No network has launched a new one since CBS tried Public Eye With Bryant Gumbel in 1997. Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, ignored those trends and made finding a high-class platform for Brian Williams and the news division one of his first orders of business when he took over earlier this year.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that NBC is in talks to bring veteran news anchor Ted Koppel to Rock Center with Brian Williams, the newsmagazine slated to make its premiere in the fall, according to people familiar with the matter. WSJ subscribers can read the story here.