September 12, 2011 9:40am PT by Marisa Guthrie
Brian Williams' Newsmagazine to Be Called 'Rock Center'
NBC's upcoming primetime newsmagazine anchored by Brian Williams will employ the locale of NBC headquarters. The news hour will be called Rock Center with Brian Williams. The name was revealed Monday by NBC News president Steve Capus.
In a statement, Capus invoked the storied history of the Manhattan art deco landmark.
"NBC News' pursuit of journalistic excellence begins everyday inside the hallways of our Rock Center headquarters," said Capus. "Like the iconic building itself, Rock Center with Brian Williams is positioned to become a go-to destination; a weekly stop for viewers looking for a lively, informative and thought-provoking newsmagazine.”
Of course, the building is also used in the title of Tina Fey’s NBC comedy 30 Rock, a program on which Williams has made multiple cameo appearances.
“Hopefully our journalism will speak louder than any name,” added Williams. “If it doesn't, perhaps people will tune in to Rock Center hoping to see Tina Fey."
The show has been busy adding staff in front of and behind the cameras. Rome Hartman – who spent many years at CBS News and more recently led the nightly BBC News America – has relocated to New York from Washington to executive produce the program. Kate Snow moves from NBC’s Dateline to Rock Center. And NBC News recently hired longtime CBS News anchor Harry Smith as a correspondent for the show.
The name has spurred a debate on Twitter and at NBC News where sources say there was considerable internal debate. One ultimately rejected named that was kicked around was Studio 30. But executives worried that viewers would confuse it with the now-defunt Aaron Sorkin drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.