Tom Brokaw Fills in For Brian Roberts… er, Brian Williams, at CPJ Awards Dinner

By Alex Weprin 

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Last night the Committee to Protect Journalists held its 20th annual International Press Freedom Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was scheduled to host the evening, but breaking news kept him in-studio. His predecessor at “Nightly” Tom Brokaw gamely filled in, according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Georg Szalai.

Sony chairman and CEO (and former CBS News president) Sir Howard Stringer chaired the event, and got a few jabs in at outgoing NBC CEO Jeff Zucker, whom he last saw when Williams roasted him at another media event:

“I thought, my god, I hope I still have a job when I [get to] the stage — because I haven’t seen Jeff Zucker since,” Stringer quipped.

He then accidentally referred to Brian Williams as Brian Roberts — the chairman of Comcast — causing a round of unintended laughs.

But Stringer got right back to business, saying Williams can be very funny, even though he didn’t find it funny to see Williams leave for NBC during Stringer’s time at CBS News.

Brokaw later briefly picked up on Stringer’s slip of the tongue, though, saying that NBC staff have a different name for Comcast boss Roberts now. “We call him his majesty,” he said to laughs.