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NBC renames cable ‘Dateline’

NEW YORK — In another small concession to affiliates, NBC is dropping the “Dateline” name from reruns of its “Dateline NBC” newsmagazine on the MSNBC cable network.

The Peacock web is embroiled in a standoff with its stations over the reuse of network programs on cable, and “Dateline This Week” — which quietly debuted a few months ago on the cable web — was among the chief offenders, in part because its segments appear on cable no more than a week after their network broadcast.

Fruitless meetings

Affiliates have charged the practice violates their exclusivity agreements with the networks, and at least two meetings have been held in New York to iron out their differences, with apparently little concrete resolution.

In the interim, however, NBC has attempted to make nice with affils while clinging philosophically to its right to recycle programs it owns.

Now ‘Weekend Magazine’

MSNBC will continue to air these segments, using the same one-week window, on Saturdays and Sundays, but to avoid direct linkage with the NBC program, the cable version will now be named “Weekend Magazine with Stone Phillips,” effective on Saturday. Phillips co-anchors the NBC newsmag with Jane Pauley, and will introduce segments for the cable version. But while the name change may fool viewers, it’s unlikely to sway affiliates.

Besides the new “Dateline” maneuver, CNBC earlier this week canceled low-rated reruns of “Late Show With Conan O’Brien” that had aired 30 days after their network run, temporarily replacing them with yet another retread, this time of the same night’s “The News With Brian Williams” on MSNBC.

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