NBC is reportedly in talks to keep Brian Williams, but maybe not as anchor of “Nightly News.”
According to a new report from CNN Money, a series of negotiations are taking place between Williams and NBC. The report says Williams may “lose his seat as anchor of the ‘NBC Nightly News,’ but executives are looking for a way to keep him at the network in a new role.”
It goes on to say NBC News chairman Andy Lack has backed the idea of keeping Williams, and has asked employees to “think creatively” in terms of a place for the former “Nightly News” anchor.
Williams is currently in the fourth month of a six-month suspension for exaggerating about his Iraq War experience, where he erroneously said he was on a helicopter that was shot down by RPG fire.
Once that story was shown to be untrue, NBC News suspended Williams and opened an internal investigation. Reports indicate other inconsistencies in Williams’ reporting have been found, including his reporting from the Arab Spring, covering the Israel/Hezbollah conflict and more.
In the interim, Lester Holt has served as substitute anchor.
In the May sweeps period, ABC’s “World News Tonight” beat “Nightly News” by 62,000 viewers 25-54 and by 15,000 18-49, as TheWrap previously reported. The last time ABC bested NBC in either of those demos was 2007.
In total viewers, however, the order was reversed. Lester Holt’s NBC program eclipsed David Muir’s ABC offering by 35,000 audience members, 7.708 million viewers to 7.673 million.
NBC has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.