Brian Williams To Be Fired From ‘Nightly News’, But Remain With NBC
Back in February, Brian Williams was suspended from NBC Nightly News after it was discovered that he lied about a story in which he claimed to have been in a helicopter that was brought down by enemy fire while in Iraq. His six-month suspension is nearly up, which means NBC now must decide whether they actually want to allow Williams to return to his spot at the anchor desk for Nightly News, or if they want to just let him go altogether. Of course, this being NBC, they picked the middle ground.
According to CNN Money, NBC is expected to announce that Brian Williams will be fired from his job as anchor of NBC Nightly News, but will remain with the network at some capacity. The plan for Brian Williams could be formally announced by NBC as early as this afternoon, as there’s an expectation that NBC might actually bring Williams back from his suspension early in order for him to serve at a different capacity for the network. Among the possibilities suggested are a role as news anchor at MSNBC or a general assignment reporter similar to what Ann Curry did once she left The Today Show. In fact, depending on how NBC feels about putting him in front of the camera for its most visible events, there might be some value in having him return to Olympics coverage and other event-related reportage. However, no specifics have been confirmed, as spokespersons for NBC would not comment on the story.
I think Williams has a certain value as an entertainer, as he’s proven himself to be a pretty adept comedic actor with appearances on The Tonight Show, Late Night, SNL, and various other platforms (hell, at one point, he even suggested the possibility to his boss about taking over for Jay Leno as Tonight Show host). However, his credibility is absolutely shot as a reporter. This isn’t to say journalists haven’t recovered from similar scandals in the past, but the nature of the digital age makes incidents like this stick far longer than they used to. For all we know, this is simply a long goodbye from NBC, as the network decides to slowly phase him out rather than fire him outright. Or maybe they simply see value in the Brian Williams brand. After all, the man cultivated an audience, and it’s not like he’s gone undefended by his fans in the wake of this incident. It could be that NBC views greater negatives in firing him than in keeping him with the network in some capacity. Either way, I’ll be interested to see what NBC has planned for him, and if he can recover from this.
But what do you think? Should NBC fire Brian Williams? If not, what role should they give him? Sound off in the comments!
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