Brian Williams Done?

FTVLive posted a highly speculative piece that Deborah Turness is thinking heavily about dumping Brian Williams…maybe next week.

Sources tell FTVLive that NBC News President Deborah Turness is strongly considering having Brian Williams step down, maybe as early as next week.

As FTVLive earlier told you, Turness has launched an internal investigation in the Williams’ statement regarding the events in Iraq in 2003 and other stories including what the Anchor said in his Katrina coverage.

Sources say that Turness has not yet decided what to do with Williams but is “leaning in the direction” of having him step down.

Sources tell FTVLive that Turness has short list of replacements for Williams and the names could raise a few eyebrows.

They are – Lester Holt, Jose Diaz Balart, and Peter Alexander.

I suppose Turness could be leaning towards dropping Williams but the timing is a little weird. Next week? NBC would barely have time to do the kind of investigation it launched unless it’s a 24/7 operation. So why mull tossing Williams if the facts aren’t in yet? That doesn’t make sense. But neither did Turness’ approach to dealing with the David Gregory situation.

If there’s any truth to this, it means I seriously underestimated NBC’s position in dealing with this crisis. I wouldn’t have called the investigation a white wash no matter how it turned out but it did have the feel of an investigation for the sake of having an investigation…not an investigation to determine Williams’ fate. That appraisal may have been an error on my part. We shall see.

Now to that short list…

Okay, NBC has an incredibly short bench to pick from and this (partial) list reflects that. I would be flabbergasted if it was either Diaz-Balart or Alexander. Neither has a big enough pedigree at NBC News as far as anchoring is concerned. Diaz-Balart has a well established one on Spanish language TV but he’s only been anchoring MSNBC for a little more than half a year. I don’t think it’s enough for NBC to pick him. Alexander? Even less anchoring experience.

Savannah Guthrie would be, on its face, an odd choice. NBC has finally gotten Today to settle down and the tumult from the Curry fiasco is definitely in the rear view mirror. If NBC did pick Guthrie, that could throw both Today and Nightly into turmoil with viewers. On the other hand NBC could feel that Tamron Hall or Natalie Morales would be able to fill the void.

Still I think the clear choice would be Holt. He’s been doing Weekend Nightly and a lot of subbing for Williams for years and, at 55, he still has some years left in the tank. Having him in the chair would give NBC time to properly develop a long term David Muir-ish type talent solution.

But this is all still premature. The investigation may not find anything more than what’s already out there and Williams stays, or, a little more is found but Turness decides to stay the course and see what happens.


9 Responses to “Brian Williams Done?”

  1. danoregon Says:

    Did Williams do anything that Turness didn’t do when saying there were no plans to dump David Gregory, when we now know there in fact WERE plans to dump him?

  2. “Katuyshka rockets passing just beneath the helicopter I was riding in.”

    Looks like there is going to be another story that will be looked into before all of this is settled!

    “It gets me to thinking, I’ve been very lucky the way my life has turned out, I’ve been very lucky to have survived a few things that I’ve been involved in, at a perception a few minutes ago, I was remembering something I tend to forget, the war with Hezballah in Israel, a few years back, where there were Katuyshka rockets passing just beneath the helicopter I was riding in. A few years before that, you go back to Iraq, and I looked down the tube of an RPG that had been fired at us and it hit the chopper in front of ours.”

    Brian Williams: From an interview at Fairfield University.

  3. If BW is canned, my vote would be Holt. The dumbest thing NBC could do would be to grab somebody from MSNBC which they have a penchant of doing (Tamron Hall, Chuck Todd).

  4. “Still I think the clear choice would be Holt.”

    ^^I agree, if only in the short term, and for the reasons Spud states. If they are looking for a younger version of Holt then Willie Geist or Thomas Roberts could fit the bill. They both have a good sense of humor are good looking and can read the teleprompter. If it’s to be a female newsreader, where you need someone with more gravitas, then Chris Jansing fits the bill.

    Of course my choice would be Jose Dias-Balart; only because I never watch the evening news broadcasts and it would get him off MSNBC and free up two hours of unwatchable TV (for me) on that network. šŸ˜‰

  5. He’s in deeper waters now then I thought he would be. These public appearances where he gives differing details about what happened are emerging and he’s looking increasingly dishonest. As the saying goes, if you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything. His remembrances are different from appearance to appearance.

    In his defense, the accounts of the soldiers in this incident are also at variance. They don’t seem to remember exactly what happened; or at least the accounts are not in congruence. Fog of war, war stories, perception and memory failures…it happens.

  6. hmmm..maybe they bring in someone from another network/channel.

  7. While I don’t see Williams being canned, I would hope it was Holt he’s worked hard at NBC News and it should be him, too bad Ann Curry left I loved it when she filled in on Nightly. I am not sure how Balart is on Telemundo but his MSNBC show is awful . Chris Jansing would be a good choice as well.

  8. Brian Williams off the air for a week!

    Those Katuyshka rockets must have gone off at 30 Rock!

  9. As I said in another thread on this site, Holt would be my choice if Williams goes. He seems like the most likely choice… but I don’t feel like it is going to happen. He might get named the long-term fill in until a permanent replacement is found, but I think they will go in another direction. We shall see… Of course, this is all assuming Williams is gone.

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