Brian Williams Back on NBC for First Time Since Suspension

NBC suspends Brian Williams – H 2015
Courtesy of NBC Universal, Inc.

With 'Nightly News' anchor Lester Holt out sick, Williams anchors a special report about the L.A. school closings.

Brian Williams was back on NBC Tuesday afternoon when he anchored a special report about a threat that led to the shutdown of Los Angeles County schools on Tuesday. 

It was the first time Williams was back on the network as an anchor since he was suspended last February. (He did appear on Today in an interview with Matt Lauer after NBC announced last June that Williams would relinquish the Nightly News anchor chair and become MSNBC's breaking news anchor.) 

Since then, Williams has anchored multiple reports for MSNBC, including on Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. last September and the shooting at a community college in Oregon in October. He was not available for breaking news coverage of the San Bernardino shootings because he was recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. 

Nightly News anchor Lester Holt -- who has anchored special reports about the Paris attacks and also the San Bernardino shooting -- was out sick on Tuesday. (Kate Snow will sub for Holt on Nightly.)

The school closings, called for by the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, was in response to an "electronic threat." At a press conference on Tuesday, authorities said the closings were out of an abundance of caution in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings and that schools would reopen on Wednesday. 

Williams noted that 900 schools were closed in Los Angeles, effecting almost 1 million students. And he explained to viewers that if L.A. authorities sounded a bit defensive during their news conference, it may have been because they were the target of criticism from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD chief Bill Bratton, who revealed that they received a similar threat on Tuesday but that it was "so generic" and "so outlandish," that they concluded it was a hoax. 

"The fact is, this decision was made in the backyard of San Bernardino," said Williams.