NBC News canned Brian Williams as NBC Nightly News anchor and moved him to MSNBC, promoting Lester Holt as his replacement, as iMediaEthics reported earlier today.
Below are some reactions, responses and updates regarding Williams’ status with the network.
Williams is taking a pay cut with the move to MSNBC, the New York Times reported according to anonymous sources. “The move is a humbling blow for him both professionally and financially,” the Times reported. “Mr. Williams will earn less money in his new role than he was as anchor of the ‘Nightly News,’ according to an NBC executive with knowledge of the agreement, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
“The person characterized it as ‘substantially’ less money, but would not be more specific,” the Times added. Williams had been making a reported $10 million annually.
Mika and I are so excited that our friend Brian Williams is staying at his NBC home!
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) June 18, 2015
CNN’s Brian Stelter noted that NBC News is getting rid of the position/title NBC Nightly News managing editor, which Williams had.
(To clarify: no one else will be managing editor instead of Holt. The title is being dropped.)
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 18, 2015
NBC’s Matt Lauer’s interview with Williams will air tomorrow, June 19. The interview was “conducted over the last two days in New York,” NBC News said, according to Ad Week.
The Huffington Post‘s Michael Calderone asked “if decision suggests Williams lacks credibility for Nightly, can he then have credibility on breaking news for MSNBC?”
If decision suggests Williams lacks credibility for Nightly, can he then have credibility on breaking news for MSNBC? http://t.co/HmYoPriy37
— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) June 18, 2015
USA Today‘s media columnist Rem Reider argued that NBC made “a truly terrible decision.”
“NBC’s resolution of the Brian Williams situation represents a total shirking of responsibility,” he wrote. “Instead of making a real decision, it essentially split the difference. It said Williams’ fabrications about his exploits, some of them on air, disqualified him from continuing to serve as anchor of NBC Nightly News.”
Like Huffington Post’s Calderone, Reider asked: “What does that say about MSNBC? That its standards are far, far lower than NBC’s? That it’s truly second-rate? What a horrible way to treat a property.”
Reider also called for NBC to be more transparent about its investigation.
“When CBS News ran into a conflagration in 2013 due to a faulty report from correspondent Lara Logan on ’60 Minutes,’ it offered much more detail about what its executives found in a review of the situation. CBS News detailed not only the cause of the errors in Logan’s ’60 Minutes’ report but also a specific example of off-camera behavior that did not meet standards: Logan had taken a public position on the U.S. government’s handling of Benghazi and Al Qaeda while continuing to report on the ’60 Minutes’ story that covered those very topics.”
NBC News’ report today on the news about Williams simply said:
“The extensive review found that Williams made a number of inaccurate statements about his own role and experiences covering events in the field. The statements in question did not for the most part occur on NBC News platforms or in the immediate aftermath of the news events, but rather on late-night programs and during public appearances, usually years after the news events in question.”
NPR’s Eric Deggans suggested “4 Ways NBC might Rehabilitate Brian Williams’ image.” Those four ways are:
- “Step 1: Williams admits what he did was wrong.”
- “Step 2: NBC releases some version of its internal report on his misstatements.”
- “Step 3: Williams gets a substantial role at MSNBC.”
- “Step 4: Williams lands on MSNBC prime time.”