NBC’s punishment for Brian Williams was swift and harsh, coming less than a week after the anchor’s fabrications went wide. As the internal probe continues, it must be asked whether Williams will return at all. That’s our poll today. First here’s a round-up of some of this morning’s reporting/analysis on the matter:
New York Times: Mr. Williams was informed of his punishment Tuesday morning when he went to the Upper West Side apartment of Stephen P. Burke, the chief executive of NBCUniversal. Only the two men were present, according to a person briefed on the meeting.
New York Magazine: According to two NBC insiders, when the network decided to move on from Jay Leno a few years ago, Williams lobbied NBC executives to give him the host’s chair.
Politico Playbook: But of all the ways NBC could have responded to the Brian Williams fiasco, a six-month stay of execution (and $5 million fine, if he really makes $10 million a year) is among the most baffling and brutal.
Wall Street Journal: The financial impact of his departure from “Nightly News” isn’t clear. Much of the advertising space on the program is purchased months ahead of time in the industry’s advance selling season known as the “upfronts.” If the program’s ratings slip considerably with Mr. Holt as anchor, advertisers would be entitled to ask for “make goods,” or complimentary airing of ads.
Tyndall Report: [L]et me assure you that the suspension of Brian Williams from the anchor desk for six months is not that big a deal as far as the newscast is concerned.