Current Media Position:
Significance to the Media Industry:
Despite that success, Brian Williams now has the mammoth task of getting some ratings traction for Rock Center, NBC's first prime time newsmagazine launch in nearly two decades. While it has been shifted into new time slots as NBC struggles, the program is definitely cheaper to create than a scripted drama or comedy show. In that sense, Brian Williams is helping the network financially.
Unlike most national news anchors, Brian Williams also presents a lighter side of himself to the public. He has hosted Saturday Night Live, appeared on the comedy 30 Rock and been a guest on several shows, including The Daily Show. He is unafraid to joke or do news spoofs, provided they are in the correct context.
Brian Williams' Early Career:
Just a year after starting in media, Williams got his big break when he was hired as a reporter in Washington, D.C. He also worked in Philadelphia and for the CBS O&O station in New York City before being hired by NBC in 1993.
The MSNBC newscast positioned Williams perfectly to make a seamless transition into the Nightly News anchor chair when Tom Brokaw retired in 2004. Unlike the other networks, which have had difficulty making anchor changes smoothly, NBC's choreographed shift from Brokaw to Williams didn't disrupt the ratings.
Williams has been praised for his thorough and compassionate reporting in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which brought catastrophe to New Orleans in 2005. That coverage earned Williams a Peabody Award. He also has several Edward R. Murrow Awards as well as Emmy Awards.
Williams attended Brookdale Community College, Catholic University and George Washington University. He also spent several years as a firefighter.
He lives in Connecticut with his wife Jane Stoddard Williams, a former television producer who now hosts a program on Bloomberg radio. They have a son and a daughter. Their daughter Allison Williams appears on the HBO program Girls.