Lester Holt Thanks Viewers, and Brian Williams, in Nightly News ‘Debut’

By Mark Joyella 

It was hardly Lester Holt‘s first time anchoring NBC Nightly News, but tonight was a moment nonetheless: for the first time, Holt was anchoring his Nightly News, free of the uncertainty, and complete with his name attached to the newscast in the open and all of the graphics.

“As of tonight,” he said at the close of the broadcast, “this program has a new name. And I’m honored to say, a new anchor. Your loyalty and viewership during a difficult time has been appreciated by all of us on this program, and I want to express my sincere thanks to my friend and colleague Brian Williams for his kind words and support.”

Earlier in the day, Holt told TVNewser going into the Monday night newscast was unusual with all the added attention, but he didn’t want to ignore it. “I’ve decided, you know, go ahead and enjoy the moment, but then we have to get to the business of working on our broadcast and try and shut out a lot of the attention that’s going to be cast our way over the next several nights and then get into our groove.”