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NBC axes news magazine “Rock Center”

Flickr: Tammy Simmons
Flickr: Tammy Simmons

After a year of scoops, timeslot changes and low ratings, NBC has canceled its news magazine program “Rock Center.”

“I’m so proud of the work we did,” NBC News anchor and “Rock Center” host Brian Williams told the New York Times, adding that his colleagues “produced great television journalism.”

The news magazine had been at death’s doorstep before. Citing a decline in ratings, NBC decided to drop the show from its schedule in May 2011, only to reverse its decision days later when the network renewed the program for a second run.

“Rock Center” failed to find a permanent home on NBC’s schedule. It was shuffled between Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays — sometimes airing at 9:00pm ET, other times airing at 10:00pm ET.

NBC’s decision to cancel “Rock Center” comes after ABC News announced it would move its news magazine program “Nightline” on May 29th to 10:00pm ET. The time slot change will temporarily pit “Nightline” against “Rock Center” until the NBC show ends its run in June.

The departure of “Rock Center” leaves NBC News with only one news magazine program, “Dateline.” ABC News currently airs “Nightline” and “20/20” during the week while CBS News airs “48 Hours,” “60 Minutes” and “CBS News Sunday Morning” on the weekends.

The magazine had a promising start when Bob Costas interviewed former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in November 2011. The segment earned “Rock Center” an 2012 Emmy award nominee.

New York Times: NBC cancels news magazine show “Rock Center”
Zap2It: ABC announces “Nightline” time slot change

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).