NBC’s Brian Williams celebrates his fifth anniversary as Nightly News anchor today.
The show’s ratings are cause enough for celebration inside NBC News. Last week, Nightly bested World News by 1.49 million viewers with 9.6 million to World News’ 8.1 million. The CBS Evening News came in with 6.2 million. All told, Nightly has been on top for 58 of the past 59 weeks.
As a producer at a rival news division commented to me recently, “It looks like Brian Williams will be eating everyone’s lunch for the foreseeable future.”
In five years, Williams has anchored 1,000 broadcasts and traveled to 25 countries covering 500,000 miles. He’s also reveled in his funny bone as a regular presence on the variety show circuit. And this season, he made his debut on 30 Rock, where he played only a slightly exaggerated version of himself auditioning for a spot as a new cast member on The Girly Show.
As the evening news landscape prepares to welcome a new, but familiar face in January with Diane Sawyer’s ascension to the anchor chair at World News, Williams would appear to be in the catbird seat.