Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Report: Suspended Anchor Brian Williams Needs To Apologize

Brian Williams
Suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams will need to make a public apology for alleged fabrications in his reporting before the Comcast-owned network would consider reinstating him, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

According to The Street, the public apology is one of several "things Brian has to do before we'd let him back on the air".

Williams was suspended in February for six months for exaggerating his reporting during the Iraqi invasion and Hurricane Katrina's 2005 strike on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack is expected to make a decision by August, although if the network decides to jettison Williams a decision could be made as soon as the network's May 11 "upfront" presentation to advertisers, an annual gathering aimed at selling airtime for the upcoming fall and winter season.

Bernard Gershon
The betting among knowledgeable broadcast executives, according to The Street, is that Williams is unlikely to come back, even if he were to make the required apology. The damage, they say, has been too great to his and the news organization's reputation for any statement to overcome.

"The best decision for NBC News would be to part ways with Brian Williams," said Bernard Gershon, a former ABC News radio vice-president and former general manager of ABCNews.com. "It helps restore credibility to a tarnished news organization and allows them to rebuild. For the moment, Williams is a punch line."

NBC isn't yet looking for a new host for its nightly news program, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, and still considers Lester Holt a potential replacement for Williams if the long-time anchor doesn't return.

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