Tuesday, June 9, 2015

NBC Decision On Brian Williams Could Come This Week

Brian Williams
Of all the options NBC News has for discredited newsman Brian Williams, returning him to the anchor role at “Nightly News” is probably the least attractive, report Bloomberg.

The revelations that led to Williams’s removal -- erroneously reporting he was aboard a helicopter that took fire in Iraq in 2003 -- damaged his credibility, a key trait for an anchor. It would also mean bumping Lester Holt, who replaced Williams and helped the network maintain its ratings lead for most of the period.

A decision by the network could come as early as this week, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity because the discussions are private.

Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal could find another role for Williams, whose sixth-month suspension ends in August.

Williams, who joined NBC in 1993 and replaced Tom Brokaw as anchor of the “Nightly News” in late 2004, renewed his contract in December for five years. His salary is a reported $13 million a year.

There’s a downside to letting him go. If Williams moves to a competitor, he may take viewers with him.

“He’s handsome and charismatic and has a following,” Mark Feldstein, a broadcast journalism professor at the University of Maryland said. “He could be the host of a talk show.”

Williams was often a guest on late-night programs including “The Tonight Show” with both Jimmy Fallon and his predecessor Jay Leno, “Late Show with David Letterman” and the “Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. His appearances raised some questions about whether he wanted to pursue a career in entertainment.

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