Brian Williams lamented the demise of "Rock Center" on Friday.
The newsmagazine was canceled by NBC after a year of low ratings and constant timeslot changes. The move is a real blow for NBC News, robbing it of a precious hour of primetime, longform broadcast journalism. There is seemingly no place for most of the kinds of stories "Rock Center" was able to do to in the rest of the network's lineup. "Dateline," filled to the brim with crime stories, is not likely to suddenly find space for a 10-minute piece on a tribal dispute in Ecuador, as "Rock Center" did last week.
It also remains to be seen what the A-list names who contributed to "Rock Center," such as Ted Koppel and Harry Smith, will do now that the show is over.
Williams, too, has been stripped of the venue that allowed him to stretch out from behind the "Nightly News" desk. In a statement to the New York Times, he reflected on the show.
"I'm so proud of the work we did," Williams said. "Our people got shot at for this broadcast. They pulled countless all-nighters. They investigated, cajoled, hustled and cared deeply. They won awards, won the respect of their colleagues and produced great television journalism."