Will Brian Williams return to NBC, and should he?

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    I think the answer to both is yes. As most of you know, the NBC Nightly News anchor was suspended earlier this year for exaggerating some claims he was in combat situations.

    From what we have seen recently from public personalities and government figures, I think he deserves a 2nd chance.

    I think the lengthy suspension was a way for NBC to scout out possible other candidates, but I doubt they found many as qualified or popular as Williams. Brian was “used” in that sense.

    I also believe NBC was somewhat concerned about Williams trying to be more of a “personality” than “anchor”, with numerous guest appearances on late night shows.

    At the end of the day, I expect Brian to be back on the NBC Nightly News, probably in September, when the ratings heat up.

    A hint perhaps: Tonight, NBC showed their annual favorite commencement speeches. While Williams obviously was not in the highlights, Tom Brokaw was. So there is some indication that history is important to the network, despite its ownership changing in recent years.

    Look for Williams back in September, IMO.


    Here is NPR’s David Folkenflik tossing around the subject.

    Months After Scandal, Will Brian Williams Return To NBC News?


    Listener, thanks for that article…very well balanced. But I can almost see this playing out. Yeah, an interview with someone like Diane Sawyer (though not sure ABC would likely promote that, perhaps Lester Holt?), and then a big splash as a comeback kid.


    I pulled out the ol’ “Magic 8 Ball” to see what it thought about this

    Should he return? “My reply is no”.
    Will he? “Most likely”.

    There you go.

    Seriously – I think he will be back after a mea culpa and a slew of apologies, possibly including an affiliate tour to explain why he did what he did.

    Andy Brown

    He should return to T.V. but he won’t be back at NBC. He belongs on a newsmagazine on Faux or cable where credibility doesn’t matter. Brian took himself way too seriously. This is Bill O’Reilly all over again, only from the left of center. Bill was smart to get out of straight news before it blew up in his face. Brian should take the cue.

    Weekend anchor Lester Holt also has been holding his own in the ratings, running a close second to “ABC World News Tonight” anchor David Muir. Casting Holt aside to bring Williams back could be seen as a problem.

    Plus, there’s the issue of Williams’ credibility going forward.

    “What if there’s a story about a presidential candidate who lied or embellished his resume?” an NBC News veteran told The Daily Beast. “How do you have Brian Williams in that chair, intro-ing that story, without all of America guffawing?”


    Who can tell from the leaks whether Williams wants his job back or if he’s merely jockeying for the best termination deal he can get? Hell, he might not even know for sure that he wants to return and suffer the risk of croaking his viewers in blood clots of laughter.
    The leaks coming from NBC News weren’t intended for Brian Williams as much as they were for his lawyer, Robert Barnett, who officiates at both hirings and firings as power players make their entrances and departures at media jobs in Washington and New York. The message appears to have been, ‘It’s up to you, Bob, how much more injury we do to your client’s reputation. Be a smart counselor and take the money we’ll offer in a couple weeks; we have no interest in Brian’s rehab.’
    In the end, there wasn’t any reason to fight for BriWi. Lester Holt seems to be doing fine, and there appear to be all too many people within NBC happy to see Williams gone. (Rule of thumb for all laborers: Most of the people you work with would be happy to see you go.)



    Yes, on the return of Brian Williams. If not, NBC ought to go with Harry Smith, who already works there. Lester Holt does not do it for me — the news magazine BS ruined him.


    I liked Brian Williams on air, but in that position, integrity is everything. (Unless you’re Dan Rather). He has a place on television, but like Andy says, it is on cable somewhere. He’s more to the left, so maybe an editorial-type show on MSNBC?


    He should take over the Daily Show. Brian Williams is a pretty funny guy, and he could be sardonic-enough to pull that gig off.


    I think the whole Brian Williams thing has been blown out of proportion. Why is he held to a different standard?

    I don’t care either way, I couldn’t tell you who the 3 major TV anchors are these days.

    But, I think Brian Williams has enough history and respect to move past what I think is a minor violation.


    I don’t care either, and expressed earlier how he could own this and move on.

    Our major network news isn’t all that good anyway. It’s not like they have held to even modest standards.


    It just goes to show the state of the country when people are more concerned about who’s hosting the late night talk show then they are about the people who are delivering their news.

    Andy Brown

    It is a minor thing by today’s standards, but in the world of TV news, the nature of the offense goes to a major credibility issue.

    Had he lied or embellished to make a political magnification, that would be an example of “minor” without the credibility issue since the viewing public assumes those kinds of distortions based on the position of the originating network. Unfortunately, this was a personal embellishment for nothing more than ego stroking. One of the points that keeps coming up in the write ups about this is that although this incident may be small, the network has never been happy with William’s antics outside of his news job (appearances on Letterman, for example), and this may just be the straw that broke the back of the network’s tolerance. That is to say that they (the network, his employer) have the goods to offer a settlement or go to court and win and get rid of him. I think anyone trying to judge this whole affair by just that one incident is misguided.

    “The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.”

    ― Hunter S. Thompson, Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80’s

    Deane Johnson

    He has no credibility left. He will not return the the Nightly News. Maybe something else at NBC, but not the Nightly News.


    Since “news” is now produced so that it is really news & entertainment (for the sake of ratings), I suspect that most of the public (really liking a good “war story”) will not hold it against him for very long. I also suspect that the network knew ahead of the broadcast that the stories were “embellished somewhat” so that they would appear to be more dramatic and perhaps encouraged that behavior. Perhaps I am being too cynical here, but that’s what I think that most “news” in this country has degraded to. 🙁
    Edward R Murrow is likely *spinning* in his grave!

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