Williams first to fill in on 'Meet the Press'

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"NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams will sit in the "Meet the Press" moderator's chair Sunday as the network plans to take it slow in its efforts to replace Tim Russert.

NBC News president Steve Capus told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that the news division still was transitioning from mourning to life after Russert, who died last week at 58. Capus asked Williams on Thursday whether he would do the show Sunday.

Capus also said it was unlikely that a decision would be made immediately to fill Russert's roles on " Press" and behind the scenes as the network's high-powered Washington bureau chief. The thinking is that NBC News talent will fill in on the Sunday show until a decision is made.

"I just don't think there's any way we would ask anyone to go into any of the roles on a permanent basis," Capus said. "It would be too much, too soon. The only way I can contemplate it is thinking for people who could step up temporarily."

Nor will a decision be made quickly on the bureau chief job. NBC is leaning heavily on Russert's deputy bureau chiefs, Wendy Wilkinson and Brady Daniels. (partialdiff)
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