Whither The Primetime Newsmagazine?

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By Alex Weprin Comment

With NBC’s “Rock Center” ending tonight, the NY TimesBrian Stelter asks whether it is even possible to launch a new, wide-ranging TV newsmagzine in today’s media environment.

With “Rock Center” ending, “there will be a real lack of real estate for this type of storytelling,” said one staff member. The program was a rare outlet for interviews and investigations that lasted longer than a few minutes. (Typically the program had three to five stories an hour. Once in a while the hour was devoted to a single subject; two highlights mentioned by staffers were “Inside the Situation Room,” a recounting of the day that Osama bin Laden was killed, and an hour titled “Mormon in America.”)

“There’s a feeling of loss for the practice of long-form journalism, as hokey as that sounds,” said another staff member, who cited “60 Minutes” and another CBS program, “CBS Sunday Morning,” as two places where in-depth reporting can still be found on commercial television.