Ed Driscoll

Report: Brian Williams Could Step Down Early Next Week

“Sources tell FTVLive that NBC News President Deborah Turness is strongly considering having Brian Williams step down, maybe as early as next week,” Scott Jones of FTVLive, which describes itself as “must read for anyone that works or wants to work in TV News” and “the first media outlet in the World to break the Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, NBC story,” claims. As for Williams’ potential successors:

Sources tell FTVLive that Turness has short list of replacements for Williams and the names could raise a few eyebrows.

They are — Lester Holt, Jose Diaz Balart, and Peter Alexander.

Is this accurate? We’ll find out soon enough. Fox News’ Dorothy Cascerceri quotes multiple sources who agree that Holt is a likely successor:

“As NBC’s weekend anchor, Lester Holt is kind of like Williams’ vice president, so he’d be the default choice,” says Bob Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University.

Brian Steinberg, senior TV editor for Variety.com, agrees, calling Holt the obvious choice.

“He is more often doing the job when Brian is not. He fills in for Brian. When Brian’s in the field, Lester is in the chair,” he says.

Thompson says Williams’ predecessor Tom Brokaw could jump back in the saddle if NBC mimics the way CBS handled Dan Rather’s stepping down.

“They could use the strategy CBS did when they put gravitas-laden Bob Schieffer in to replace the disgraced Rather, and put Brokaw back in the chair to give it some respectability until the smoke clears. Given Brokaw’s recent comments, though, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Brokaw, now 75, sat in on Meet the Press for much of 2008 when Tim Russert passed away suddenly at age 58, and he might be willing to serve in a stopgap capacity once again as the best-known elder statesman at NBC. Cascerceri adds that Turness could also tap Matt Lauer or Savannah Guthrie of the Today Show, and speaking of the Today Show, as we mentioned late last night, also consider bringing Katie Couric back to NBC.

In any case, all of these choices merely put a Band-Aid on the “Pathological NBC Culture,” as Jeffrey Lord describes the badly tarnished network today at NewsBusters:

Like the Challenger explosion, given the culture of NBC — the train wreck that is MSNBC, the crassly political decision to cater to the Obama White House by hiring Al Sharpton for his own TV show, the unending stream of left-wing vitriol, racism and bias that has caused the Conservative War Chest to say the network is now nothing more than a far-left Super PAC — all of this has created a culture of poor decision making at NBC. Now, Brian Williams’s career, a thorough-going product of this NBC culture, is exploding like a journalistic version of the Challenger.

Not to be forgotten is that this is the same network that in 1993 copped to faking a fiery crash of a General Motors truck. The New York Times began that story this way: “In an extraordinary public confession, NBC acknowledged last night that it had erred in broadcasting a report that purported to show a General Motors truck bursting into flame as a result of a collision.”

From that moment until today NBC has been on one very long, very slow motion slide to this moment. No small player in all this has been the role of “narrative journalism” — the drive to substitute the telling of the news with altering the presentation of the news to fit the liberal agenda. Katrina was Bush’s fault. Obama is a hero. Brian Williams’s helicopter was hit by an RPG. GM trucks explode.

While liberals in the media have always been present, with the advent of Rush Limbaugh, talk radio, Fox News and the Internet the absolute monopoly once held by liberals in the media has been destroyed, gone for good. The reaction has been to drive the liberals to ever increasing fury, absolutely determined to hold to their liberal narratives in the media until hell freezes over or they go down with the ship. (See: Dan Rather.)

Hey, I’m sure Captain Dan would love to be a network TV newsman once again. I wonder if he asked Lucy Ramirez to fax in his resume to NBC yesterday?

Update (6:15 PM Pacific): Brian Williams Stepping Away From NBC Nightly News.