Ted Koppel to join Brian Williams' 'Rock Center'
The news, which had been expected since talks were first reported last month, indicates that Williams and his producers are serious about positioning "Rock Center" as a hard-news program. Koppel will serve as a special correspondent.
"My goal has been to make 'Rock Center' the Cooperstown of our craft," Williams said in a statement. "Ted is a consensus Hall of Famer, joining the best team of men and women on the air today."
A gifted interviewer with a sober, no-nonsense on-camera presence, Koppel has been an unrelenting critic of what he views as entertainment values seeping into news coverage. Last month, he attacked "Nightline" for turning toward fluffier news since he left the ABC program in 2005.
Koppel joined ABC News in 1963 and covered the JFK assassination. After leaving ABC, he was named managing editor of the Discovery Channel, where he produced long-form programming. But the move to cable proved an awkward fit, and Koppel found his visibility greatly reduced.
"Rock Center" is scheduled to air at 10 p.m. Mondays, in the slot once occupied by the now-canceled "The Playboy Club."
What do you think of Koppel? Will you watch "Rock Center"?
-- Scott Collins
Photo: Ted Koppel. Credit: Haraz N. Ghanbari / Associated Press