Anticipation, ‘Unease’ Ahead of Williams’ MSNBC Debut

By Mark Joyella 

As early as this afternoon, staffers at MSNBC are expected to get the network’s coverage plan for the U.S. visit of Pope Francis. Coverage plans are always interesting reading in newsrooms, as staff look to see who’s gotten plum assignments and who has not. But this week, at MSNBC, there’s one name everyone will be hunting for: Brian Williams.

Williams makes his MSNBC debut as breaking news anchor next week, and the specifics of his role remain unclear. When will he appear? What happens to scheduled news anchors when Williams goes on air? The papal coverage plan may provide answers to some of those questions.

Poynter’s James Warren reports “there is ample unease within the ranks about Williams’ return…several pointedly noted he’s not been seen on the premises yet.”