The MSNBC Debut: ‘Good Day, I’m Brian Williams’

By Mark Joyella 

The former anchor of NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams, emerged in his newest role today, debuting as a breaking news anchor on MSNBC. “And good day, I’m Brian Williams at MSNBC headquarters in New York,” Williams said as he began live coverage of Pope Francis‘ arrival in the U.S. just after 3 p.m. ET.

Williams made no mention of the occasion of his return, throwing to a live report from Chris Jansing, who perhaps spoke for the moment when she said “Good afternoon, Brian, and this does have the feeling of a momentous occasion,” though she was referring to the Pope’s arrival.

For Williams, it’s a return to work after a six-month suspension–and his removal as anchor of Nightly News–over false stories he told about his work in Iraq and elsewhere. For NBC, Williams represents a massive investment the company still believes holds value, and in which they’ve trusted a major assignment: help pull MSNBC back from the ratings wilderness.