This morning, NBC announced the title for its long-awaited primetime newsmagazine: Rock Center with Brian Williams, so as to debut later this season, marks a large entry into the nighttime news business, with the network throwing its primary anchor and a few of its greatest resources into a—oh, stop. I WILL NOT do that. Because all I WILL BE ABLE TO take into accounts is that title. That horrible, horrible title.
For starters, I’ve worked at Time magazine, whose headquarters are in Rockefeller Center, for a dozen years now, and i’ve never once heard any person, ever, use the nickname “Rock Center” in casual conversation. (VERSUS “30 Rock,” which was actual shorthand in and out of doors NBC well before the sitcom.) For the sake of argument, I’m willing to imagine that’s just me—there is, a minimum of a café by that name within the complex of buildings, despite the fact that that’s the only use of the term I WILL find in a cursory Google search. Still, I WILL NOT get past the reality that, as Jaime Weinman already pointed out, “Rock Center with Brian Williams” feels like the name of the newsmagazine Williams would host if he ever guested at the Flintstones.
I’m guessing that “Rock Center” is supposed to be, in news as within the restaurant world, the casual-café version, signifying a hipper, more off-the-cuff version of NBC News, using its address for a down-in-the-street feel much as CBS tried with short-lived newsmagazine West 57th back within the day. But even the quote Williams gave for the clicking release means that he knows it is a goofy name: “‘Hopefully our journalism will speak louder than any name,’ said Williams. ‘If it doesn’t, perhaps people will tune in to ‘Rock Center’ hoping to peer Tina Fey.'”
It is the journalism so that you can matter, of course—NBC was seriously staffing up, hiring Harry Smith and Kate Snow for the show as well—and titles can always change. During which case, “Rock Center” can be up for grabs again. May I suggest or not it’s used for
* a sequence of big-box mall guitar stores
* a slang term for a city’s most notorious crack-selling district
* a late-night ’80s-metal-nostalgia music-video show, hosted by Dee Snider
* a fictitious mineral-collectors’ store utilized by Hank as a canopy story for a surveillance outing on a future episode of Breaking Bad
* your pseudonym, in case you ever want to check right into a motel under a false name
Or [your better suggestion here]. But maybe it’s just me. Are you prepared to rock the inside track with Brian Williams?