30 Rock’s Hard Rocker

In short, anyone who says that the glory days are over (be it Must See TV or Slippery When Wet) is backward-looking and delusional. The world keeps moving forward, everyone has to evolve. Deal with it.

It’s an attitude that is bound to ruffle some feathers along the way. Sometime later this month, according to an article in The New York Times, Brian Williams will interview Mr. Bon Jovi for a piece on the Nightly News, highlighting the band’s charitable efforts. The inclusion of the news division in what is primarily an entertainment promotion is sure to raise hackles among those who believe that the Nightly News should be sacrosanct from network interference.

You could almost see Jon Bon Jovi considering potential branding opportunities; Jack Donaghy whispering in his ear that the Rolling Stones never got to put their name on a microwave oven.

“It sounds like the human extension of product placement,” Lawrence Grossman, the former president of NBC News, recently told The Observer. “I am dismayed that they are infesting the news division with that kind of requirement. But it does comport with the current trend to cheapen the formerly more-or-less pristine network news operations, which are now filled with softball features.”

In the days since the initial announcement, Today and NBC’s local news Web sites have kept up a slow trickle of items reporting on the comings and goings of their artist.

“So how many grade schools can boast a rock star at the grand opening of their new playground?” anchor Natalie Morales asked on Today on Oct. 20. “NBC’s artist in residence, Jon Bon Jovi, thanked volunteers Monday in Camden, New Jersey, where his charitable foundation is building playgrounds, green spaces and affordable housing.”

In the weeks to come, the Bon Jovi–thon promises to kick into high gear at NBC. In the meantime, NBC staffers have a few more days to make their new artist feel at home. “Welcome to the family,” Mr. Lauer told Mr. Bon Jovi on the morning of the kickoff.

That same day, Ms. Curry gave NBC viewers her take on the network’s new artist. “Very cool,” said Ms. Curry. “He is cool.


30 Rock’s Hard Rocker