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What to expect from ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’

The ‘Nightly News’ anchor’s newsmagazine show tweaks the format. Premieres tonight at 10 on NBC

It’s a new kind of newsmagazine

Unlike other newsmagazine programs like “60 Minutes,” “Rock Center” will be telecast live, from Studio 3B in Rockefeller Center, every week.

“It has the opportunity to be more timely and more relevant and more responsive to what’s in the news, what’s in the national conversation, than an hourlong documentary-style show,” says David Corvo, senior executive producer of “Rock Center.” “You’ll see a different kind of magazine that will be fronted by one person with a curious and intense relationship with the news and the trust of his audience.”

It’s definitely Brian Williams’ showcase

“Brian is the managing editor of this program,” says Rome Hartman, “Rock Center” executive producer, “and it will reflect his sensibility. I’ve said this ought to feel like Brian’s playlist.”

As curator of the news series, Williams will not be reporting every story. But the “Nightly News” anchor ensures every report is in good hands. “These are friends and co-workers of mine,” he says of the show’s correspondents, “and at the conclusion of the story they tell, we’re going to probably sit around and talk about it. There will be questions that will kind of pop into all of our heads as we watch these pieces.”

About those (award-winning) familiar faces ...

Correspondents signed on to the series include Harry Smith, Kate Snow, Ted Koppel, Meredith Vieira, Natalie Morales, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Richard Engel and Dr. Nancy Snyderman. “It’s been very exciting around here,” says Williams. “We’re hiring people to put journalism on television. And you don’t get to start something like this more than once or twice in your lifetime.” In addition to that all-star roster, Williams says “there are still some people on the whiteboard in my head who I think could really, really turn some heads” if they were to join the program.

 
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