Brian Williams Named Co-Anchor of MSNBC’s Iowa Coverage

By Chris Ariens 

Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams will co-anchor MSNBC’s coverage of the Iowa Caucuses next Monday beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Hardball host Chris Matthews will lead the MSNBC team on the ground in Des Moines, alongside Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd.

MSNBC’s coverage begins with “Morning Joe” live from Java Joes in Des Moines Monday morning, plus a special afternoon edition airing later Monday. MSNBC’s Decision 2016 team in New York will include Steve Kornacki, Lawrence O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace, and The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson. Reporting live from campaign headquarters and caucus sites across Iowa will be Chris Hayes, Kasie Hunt, Hallie Jackson, Chris Jansing, Katy Tur, and Kristen Welker.

Since his return to MSNBC in September, Williams has been a breaking news and continuing coverage anchor. Williams’ return to prime time co-anchoring hours-long coverage of the first-in-the-nation vote, is a continuation of NBC News chairman Andy Lack‘s aim of keeping MSNBC focused on the news. As for a more permanent slot in prime time for Williams, Lack told Lloyd Grove last month, “We’re just not looking at it. There always could be, would be, because he’s Brian, but that’s not where the focus is.”

Before being named NBC Nightly News anchor in 2004, Williams anchored the prime time newscast The News with Brian Williams on MSNBC, during Lack’s first stint at NBC News.

Meanwhile, over on NBC, all three NBC News broadcasts–Meet the Press, the Today show, and Nightly News–will originate from Iowa early next week. Their home away from home is the coffee shop in the West End Architectural Salvage building in Des Moines. Meet the Press kicks things off Sunday, the Today show will have a two-hour show featuring a live audience on Monday, and Lester Holt will anchor Nightly News and prime time special reports throughout Monday night.