Brian Williams to Have Temporary Late Night Anchor Spot at MSNBC

Posted by at 11:16 am on August 16, 2016

Brian WilliamsFor the first time since Brian Williams left his anchoring duties at “NBC Nightly News” in 2015, viewers will know where to find Brian Williams on a regular basis.

The well-known newscaster will get what for now is being billed as a temporary half-hour program at 11 p.m. at MSNBC, according to a network executive, starting on Labor Day and lasting through at least Election Day. He will use the roost to deliver wrap-ups of the day’s political news, this executive said. The programming maneuver was reported previously by CNN. Once Williams’ program starts, MSNBC would delay the airing of repeats of its primetime schedule until 11:30 p.m., instead of the current 11 p.m. norm, this executive said.

For a few months at least, Williams will square off often against Don Lemon, who more often than not these days anchors CNN’s late-night coverage, as MSNBC uses an increased reliance on breaking news and political coverage to notch ratings gains in an election year that has drawn outsize interest from viewers. The move would complete something of a full circle for Williams, who served a six-month suspension and lost his perch as the anchor of “NBC Nightly News” after acknowledging last year that he embellished a tale about his time covering unrest in Iraq for NBC News in 2003. Since returning to anchoring duties at MSNBC in the fall of 2015, the network has featured Williams as a sort of roving newscaster who takes to the desk to anchor breaking-news developments that require MSNBC to break out of its normal programming.

He has assumed those duties with little fanfare – and barely a hint of the promotion a cable-news network might give a star anchor. MSNBC viewers are typically not given much notice when Williams will appear during daytime hours, though there have been exceptions. The new late-night perch will mark the first time since Williams joined the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news outlet that viewers will be told what time to tune in to see him.

MSNBC executives came to the decision to give Williams the late-night roost in recent weeks, according to the executive, encouraged particularly by ratings in July. During that month, Williams anchored more than 86 hours of programming, including coverage of the recent police shooting in Dallas, the terrorist attack in Nice, France and the attempted military coup in Turkey. The network, which saw ratings decline precipitously in recent years, has seen growth: In July, it had its best viewership among the audience most coveted by advertisers – people between 25 and 54 – since January of 2013, and its best overall audience since November of 2012.

Williams’ presence at MSNBC has likely been bolstered by the decision to pair him with primetime anchor Rachel Maddow to handle breakout political coverage in the evenings. Williams was on the air for more than 20 hours a week during the network’s recent coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions. In 2016 so far, he has anchored approximately 245 hours of coverage.

Leave a Reply

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive breaking news
as well as receive other site updates

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Log in

Copyright © 2008 - 2023 · StreetCorner Media , LLC· All Rights Reserved ·