Brian Williams on Nightly News: ‘It’s as Straight Down the Middle as they Come and we Struggle Mightily to do that Each Day’

By Chris Ariens 

The AP’s David Bauder talks with NBC Newsman Brian Williams and NBC Newsboss Steve Capus about the bright spot at NBC these days — the news division.

Both the “Today” show and Williams’ flag-shift newscast have increased already substantial leads in the ratings over second-place broadcasts on ABC News since each of those competitors switched anchors in December.

Five years into his job, competing with ABC’s Diane Sawyer and CBS’ Katie Couric, Williams is now the dean of evening news anchors.


“Having turned 50 this year, I suddenly woke up and I’m in the demographic that my parents were in when they were in the prime of watching an evening newscast,” Williams said.

And with NBC about to gain back 5 hours of prime time, will we see more of Williams and NBC News?

Williams is more likely to become a greater presence in prime time for NBC. The network will have time to fill when Leno returns to late night later this month, and Williams may start contributing some longer-form documentaries, Capus said.

“Nightly News” won’t be going to prime time – that suggestion was facetious – but might it make sense to stretch a successful half-hour broadcast to an hour? After all, the “Today” show is now four hours.

“We’d love to have that extra time,” Capus said. “If others thought that it made sense, we would obviously look at trying to do it. But at this point, our attention is on the ‘Nightly News’ broadcast that we have.”

Williams is also not afraid to show his sense of humor away from the broadcast, as he did twice last week on other shows…