What was Brian Williams‘ big mistake has become Lester Holt‘s big opportunity. Since Williams was suspended for six months by NBC for “misremembering” events in Iraq and during Hurricane Katrina (and possible others) that did not happen, his chosen replacement for The NBC Nightly News will be Holt, a long-time correspondent of the show.
Following Williams’ shocking fall from grace, natural curiosity of who would take over Nightly News reached a fever pitch. Critics cited Holt as the next best choice and NBC confirmed that Holt will succeed Williams’ 22-years career. However, Holt’s new position comes with a 6-month audition process.
This year marks Holt’s second-time in being the first Black anchorman hosting full-time for night time news since 1983. There are a handful of Black women and men in broadcast today, like Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, Alicia Quarles of E!, Al Roker of The Today Show and Oprah‘s bestie Gayle King of CBS This Morning, but in night time, there hasn’t been a co-host or solo permanent host in decades. Max Robinson was one of three Black anchors on ABC news from 1978 to 1983.
Holt is of Jamaican descent and was born in California. He attended California State University with a major in Government, but did not graduate as began racked up broadcasting gigs when he was 19-year-old, first in radio. The big break came with CBS, leading to reporting for local big stations in Los Angeles and Chicago. In 2000, he joined MSNBC, and later contributing to NBC on Dateline as a co-anchor. Some fun facts about him is that’s he had small parts in the films The Fugitive and Primal Fear, and appeared on Tina Fey’s 30 Rock.
Holt is definitely up for the task as this moment has been 30+ years in the making. We’re wishing him the best! NBC Nightly News airs weekdays at 6:30PM.