While Matt Lauer is running NBC, it appears that Brian Williams was trying his hand at controlling WNBC, the flagship NBC O&O in New York.
The NY Daily News reports that Williams’ nosing around the afternoon show “New York Live” resulted in him tearing apart the broadcast to top network execs, complaining that the show was light on “real news” and heavy on fashion and lifestyle.
“He had nothing to do with the show, yet he disapproved of the content,” The Daily News source sniffs. “It was too much fashion and gossip airing from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, because he didn’t want light news airing so close to his important nightly broadcast.”
We’re told Williams was the driving force behind moving “New York Live” to an earlier time slot, convincing Michael Jack, president and general manager of NBC New York, to have the show air during the afternoon instead.
After a low-rated debut in 2008, “New York Live,” originally named “LXTV,” started to show signs of growth, with celebrity bookings and rising ratings under the then-new leadership of executive producer Amy Rosenblum.
“The numbers were increasing week after week. And the show became a hit by abandoning the depressing news stories and local traffic reports in favor of fashion, food and celebrity gossip segments. It just worked,” says our source. “But Brian wanted it gone. He killed what the show was. At the time, Brian ran 30 Rock and what Brian wanted, Brian got.”
“New York Live” is still airing as a 30-minute show daily at 12:30 p.m., a time slot Williams requested. With the time change, many staffers were laid off.