NBC made it official today — Brian Williams is out and Lester Holt is in as permanent anchor of “Nightly News.” Holt has been the fill- in anchor on the newscast since last February — when a scandal broke over Williams’ habit of embellishing some of his reporting exploits. After his six month suspension ends in August, Williams will take a step down and join MSNBC “as anchor of breaking news and special reports,” according to a statement posted on the NBC website.
Holt, 56, has been a news reporter for 34 years. He’s a skilled anchor and well-respected journalist. He joined NBC in 2000 and got promoted to full-time anchor of “Weekend Nightly News” in 2007. Also, he has anchored “Dateline” and “Weekend Today.”
“Lester has done outstanding work for NBC News over the last ten years, and he’s performed remarkably well over the last few months under very tough circumstances,” Andrew Lack, Chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, said in the statement. “He’s an exceptional anchor who goes straight to the heart of every story and is always able to find its most direct connection to the everyday lives of our audience. In many ways, television news stands at a crossroads, and Lester is the perfect person to meet the moment.”
Holt is the first African-American to permanently hold the prestigious position of a solo weekday anchor of a network nightly news. Holt is on vacation — but did react to his promotion on Twitter.
Promised my family I wouldn’t think about work during vacation. Just got the ok to break that promise. Excited and grateful for new role.
— Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) June 18, 2015