“Weekend Today” co-anchor Lester Holt was tapped to fill in for News Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams on the “NBC Nightly News.”
The news comes after Williams was placed on a six-month suspension after recent reports revealed that he had been less than honest in some of his past reporting.
Holt, 55, has been a regular on NBC for the past 15 years. Aside from his role as co-anchor on “Weekend Today,” the “Today Show’s” weekend edition, he also held anchoring responsibilities on “Dateline NBC” and served as a fill-in for Williams on “NBC Nightly News” when Williams was out having surgery in 2013.
There has been some speculation of Williams’ suspension becoming permanent. If so, insiders say Holt stands a chance of becoming the first Black anchor on “Nightly News.” That is, if he can maintain NBC’s ratings over its rivals. According to the Times, when Holt anchored the broadcast in August 2013, NBC led with 7.3 million viewers to ABC’s 7.1 million, compared to NBC leading with 7.6 million viewers to ABC’s 7 million just a month prior.
Prior to joining NBC in 2003, Holt worked as a reporter and weekend anchor for CBS. Said to be “smooth, competent and professional in every way, just as he appears today,” Holt was born and raised in California and attended California State University, Sacramento.