Somehow the United States has managed to soldier on without Brian Williams anchoring NBC Nightly News — as has the show itself, which has mostly maintained its viewership with Lester Holt manning the desk. Still, some people at NBC are reportedly hoping to hold on to Williams, who was suspended in February after he admitted to lying about the details of a 2003 trip to Iraq. (Subsequent reporting and an internal inquiry turned up a number of other fabrications.) CNN Money reports that while Williams could very well end up leaving NBC (with “a significant portion” of his $10 million-a-year contract), discussions about the matter have recently turned toward “a new role” for him at the network.
From CNN Money:
Andy Lack, the chairman of NBC News, has been a proponent of this outcome.
“Andy’s contorting to figure out a way to keep Brian,” one of the sources said.
One of the sources described employee meetings where Lack asked attendees to “think creatively” about a new role for Williams.
A gradual return to NBC is one scenario suggested by sources close to Williams. After a thorough explanation and apology for past embellishments, he could file news reports and regain viewers’ trust.
Unsurprisingly, others at NBC believe it’s time to cut their losses, as Williams’s return might “tarnish the network.” Whatever happens, CNN Money points out, “Many people both inside and outside NBC are surprised that the deliberations have dragged on for this long.” After all, this isn’t their first rodeo.