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Posts Tagged ‘Rock Center’

Brian Williams: Doing Comedy ‘Shows That I Have a Personality and a Pulse’

Brian Williams Brian Williams took his trademark blend of levity and gravitas to New York’s 92Y last night. There, exactly an hour after his Nightly News broadcast ended, he provided an in-depth look at the highlights and lowlights of his life. He touched on his connection to the Jersey shore, his early jobs working in a DC college press office and as a broadcast trade association typist and his current post as NBC news anchor.

Williams poked fun at NBC’s pharmaceutical advertisers, vented his anger about the handling of Hurricane Katrina and made poignant comments about the Newtown shooting. However, none of moderator Jonathan Tisch’s queries or the audience’s pre-screened questions addressed his network’s recent ratings decline or the status of Williams’ struggling news magazine show, Rock Center.

Here are selected quotes from Williams on a broad range of topics:

His Early Years:

On food he ate growing up: “For us, mixed greens were something that came out of a mower.”

On his fondness for firefighters: “I still hang out at the firehouse. It’s like I’m their human dalmatian.”

On his education: “I did spectacularly poorly at community college. I’m still only a high school grad; I’m not into that completion thing.”

On his reaction when his mother told him he’d be a good TV reporter: “I’d only been on closed circuit camera at 7-Eleven.”

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NBC Uses News Shows to Promote Sitcoms

NBC's 1600 PennVia our sister site TVNewser, we bring you an ethics debate: NBC has now used its “editorial” news shows Rock Center, Today and Meet the Press to promote its upcoming White House sitcom 1600 Penn. (Well, OK, it was the Meet the Press web channel if you want to get all technical, but the clip will still appear on some affiliates.)

We understand the network’s need to go all out to promote its newest property. Now that The Voice is over, NBC is pretty much guaranteed to drop back into its perennial loser status among the big networks.

Still, we have to ask: is the network crossing a line by hyping the show on its supposedly serious editorial programs? Joe Flint at the Los Angeles Times thinks so:

To be sure, the idea of media companies making use of their platforms to advertise their own assets and personalities is nothing new. ABC’s Good Morning America has no qualms about using its valuable time to talk about Dancing With the Stars.

But NBC is becoming the most aggressive in doing this and if it continues it could harm the credibility of its news division.

Crazy idea, but maybe news programming should be kept to news.

What do we think? Does NBC risk harming the credibility of its news division with this kind of everywhere-all-at-once promotion? What’s their marketing team so afraid of, anyway?

Bob Costas Praised for Sandusky Interview

Sports broadcaster Bob Costas is drawing cheers this morning following last night’s Rock Center interview with former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with crimes tied with that school’s child sexual abuse scandal. Costas’ tough line of questioning went into sometimes graphic detail about the allegations against Sandusky.

Oprah Winfrey and CNN’s Paul Begala are among those commending Costas on a job well done. And, according to the @NBCNewsPR Twitter feed, Bob Costas is the second most searched term on Google this morning.

Costas also appeared on Morning Joe today to talk about the interview and his new book. During today’s interview he classified some of Sandusky’s answers as “odd” and “very strange.” We’ve got that clip, care of Huffington Post, after the jump.

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