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C-SPAN’s ‘Booknotes’ will come to end

After talking with 800 authors, Brian Lamb will close the book on “Booknotes,” his weekly C-SPAN interview series. The final broadcast will be Dec. 5, the network announced Tuesday.

Lamb, the series host and C-SPAN chairman, hasn’t run out of books. But after 15½ years, he’s ready to free up the time it takes to prepare for each program.

“When you add it all up, I’ve committed about 1.8 years of my life to reading books for the series,” he said. “It’s time to use all those hours in other ways.”

One way will be Lamb’s new venture, a broader-based interview series debuting Dec. 12 in the old “Booknotes” time slots (Sunday, 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET). Titled “Q & A,” its guests will come from politics, science, history, medicine — and occasionally will include authors.

“We’ll look for different but topical issues and people that aren’t being seen and heard elsewhere on TV,” Lamb said.

The first edition of “Booknotes” aired on April 2, 1989, featuring Zbigniew Brzezinski on his book “Grand Failure.” Since then, hundreds of nonfiction writers have sat down with Lamb to discuss their work, including such world leaders as Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Among the series’ distinctive touches: Authors could appear only once in their writing career, even if later books were big best sellers.

“Booknotes” will live on via the Internet, with all 800 interviews archived online with searchable video and transcripts, the network said. Encore “Booknotes” airings will continue on C-SPAN2 Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m.

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