Veteran news anchor, journalist and correspondent Kate Snow is genuinely excited about her segmented special reports on the new Rock Center with Brian Williams program. Entertainment Heartbeat talked to Snow about her enthusiasm with Rock Center that would compel her to leave the successful Dateline show.
“Multiple topics in one hour,” Snow says on why Rock Center is a different and better newsmagazine idea, “so think about the biggest stories of the day or even things you haven’t heard about with a longer format in a ten-minute piece about something that’s provocative or interesting or topical – newsy, very newsy, lots of those stories in one hour, as opposed to Dateline where generally Dateline does one story for the entire hour where they follow the entire narrative for the entire hour, so this is the opportunity to follow more news, to follow breaking news, to break in on something that’s really current, and really take a different look or different angle on something that you maybe have heard about.
On Rock Center‘s debut show last Monday, Show‘s report was on “births tourism,” an example of the invisible news story that’s intriguing, bizarre and consequential. “It is this industry that’s developed in other countries where they advertise to women, wealthy women to come to the U.S. and have your baby here, because your baby then will be a U.S. citizen,” Snow says. “…wealthy Chinese women who’ve come here for up to $30,000 a pop to have their babies so they can being their baby home as a U.S. citizen with a passport …There is still a sentiment, all the women said to us, that America is a great place, America has a great education system…and (they) can bring their families here once the kid reaches 21 and you can get green cards for the whole family.”
Snow continued on what makes her new project a better platform for the news format. “The piece I’m describing is a good seven to eight minutes long, …most of our pieces on Nightly News, for instances are two minutes at the most, so that’s a long time to examine a topic, but we also want the show to have energy, so there’s a live component to it also, so the tape piece will run and then you’ll see me on the set with Brian, talking about it in person, because he’ll have the same kind of questions that you would have if you were watching at home; ‘wait a minute, tell a more about this,’ so I think it’ll have that live energy because of that.”
In the age of CGI and Photoshop one might think a modern reporter would just use a realistic studio background like a scripted reality show to save time and money, but Snow doesn’t just travel the world for fun since she actually talks to the citizens of the locations and puts together the narratives that’s not quite possible in a sealed sound stage.
“We’re traveling a lot,” Snow says about the time and miles she puts in just one of the segments. “We’ve been working hard on this project to get ready for the first show and to get ready for subsequent shows…I’ve got about eight pieces in the works right now, I’ve been working on them for, gosh, three, four months now, I’ve been traveling solid for the past eight weeks at least, every week going out somewhere; I was just out in Boise 24 hours ago, I flew back on a redeye. Before that I was in L.A., last week I was in Florida, I was in Alabama, I won’t keep going, yeah, I’ve been busy.”
Snow also handles a family with two children (with help of her husband) but still has to make phone calls on the run for things like Cub Scout meetings. Kathmandu on Monday, her kids’ school soccer field on Friday.
Rock Center with Brian Williams is on Monday nights, 10 pm ET, 9pm CT, 10 pm PT on NBC.