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Brian Williams is staying put as NBC Nightly News‘ anchor, the network announced Monday. Saying that he has “renewed his commitment” to the network’s news division, NBC News president Deborah Turness said in a staff memo that he will continue to serve as anchor and managing editor of the nightly broadcast “for years to come.”
The news arrives as Williams recently celebrated his 10th anniversary as NBC Nightly News anchor and ABC News recently replaced longtime World News anchor Diane Sawyer with David Muir.
“Under Brian’s leadership, Nightly has solidified its position as America’s most watched news broadcast and is off to its best start of the season in nine years,” Turness wrote. “His deep connection with viewers extends beyond the broadcast to his leading of our breaking news events, his primetime specials and the Nightly offerings on digital and social media. In this changing news and media environment, that special trust in Brian is more important than ever, and therefore wherever Brian is, the audience follows.”
Various reports have placed the length of Williams’ new deal with the network at five years, at least.
NBC Nightly News is averaging 9.05 million viewers a night and having its best start to a season in nine years, the network says. The week in which Williams celebrated his 10th anniversary as Nightly News anchor and managing editor, the NBC broadcast was the top-rated newscast, averaging 9.65 million total viewers, more than ABC World News Tonight‘s 8.84 million and CBS Evening News‘ 7.49 million, according to Nielsen data reported by NBC and ABC. The broadcast also has been the top-rated newscast in total viewers for 273 consecutive weeks and 320 of the last 321 weeks, according to NBC News.
In the 25-54 demo, upon which most TV news is sold to advertisers, NBC Nightly News averaged 2.31 million viewers, leading ABC’s average of 2.14 million viewers and CBS’ average of 1.88 million viewers, according to Nielsen data from ABC and NBC.
Read Turness’ full staff memo below.
I’m thrilled to let you know that Brian Williams has renewed his commitment to NBC News and will continue to lead NBC Nightly News and serve as our managing editor for years to come.
Brian is one of the most trusted journalists of our time. He has led this organization through every major news event for the last decade, from Hurricane Katrina in his first year in the anchor chair to his exclusive interview with Edward Snowden this year, through elections, wars, natural disasters, tragedies and triumphs. In all of those cases, he’s taken Nightly News‘ viewers to the heart of the stories that matter most in a way that’s uniquely his.
That’s why millions of Americans invite him into their homes every night. They know Brian, his values, his continuing recognition of everyday heroes, and they trust him to help them make sense of the world.
Under Brian’s leadership, Nightly has solidified its position as America’s most watched news broadcast and is off to its best start of the season in nine years. His deep connection with viewers extends beyond the broadcast to his leading of our breaking news events, his primetime specials and the Nightly offerings on digital and social media. In this changing news and media environment, that special trust in Brian is more important than ever, and therefore wherever Brian is, the audience follows.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Brian’s 10 remarkable years in the anchor chair with the theme “he’s been there, he’ll be there.” You will have seen the promos across our network, but in celebration of this milestone, we cut a special, longer edit — I wanted to share it with you: http://bit.ly/12Q9AuS.
Today is another very proud day for all of us at NBC News. Please join me in congratulating Brian and in looking forward to a shared future together.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek