Brian Williams

Brian Williams

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Brian Williams'
Start a new discussion about 'Brian Williams'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Brian Douglas Williams is the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News
NBC Nightly News
NBC Nightly News is the flagship daily evening television news program for NBC News and broadcasts. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is located in the center...

, the evening news program of the NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 television network, a position he assumed in 2004. Williams was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World in 2007, and in 2010, a prominent media observer dubbed him "the Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years . During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll...

 of the 21st century."

Early life


Williams was raised in a middle-class Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 Catholic home. In his childhood his family moved from his birth place, Ridgewood, New Jersey
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Ridgewood is a village in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the village population was 24,958. Ridgewood is an affluent suburban bedroom community of New York City, located approximately northwest of Midtown Manhattan.The Village of Ridgewood was...

, to Elmira, New York
Elmira, New York
Elmira is a city in Chemung County, New York, USA. It is the principal city of the 'Elmira, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses Chemung County, New York. The population was 29,200 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Chemung County.The City of Elmira is located in...

. He lived in Elmira for ten years, before moving to Middletown, New Jersey, when he was in junior high school.

He graduated from Mater Dei High School
Mater Dei High School (New Jersey)
Mater Dei High School is a four-year Catholic coeducational high school, located in the New Monmouth section of Middletown Township, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. Mater Dei is part of St. Mary Parish and operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton...

, a Roman Catholic high school in the New Monmouth
New Monmouth, New Jersey
New Monmouth is an unincorporated area within Middletown Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The area is served as United States Postal Service ZIP code 07748....

, section of Middletown. While in high school, he was a volunteer firefighter
Firefighter
Firefighters are rescuers extensively trained primarily to put out hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property, to rescue people from car incidents, collapsed and burning buildings and other such situations...

 for three years at the Middletown Township Fire Department. His first job was as a busboy at Perkins Pancake House.

After high school, Wiliams attended Brookdale Community College
Brookdale Community College
Brookdale Community College is an accredited coeducational public community college in Lincroft, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Brookdale Community College was founded in 1967 and has Higher Education Centers in Neptune, Freehold, Hazlet, Long Branch, Sandy Hook, and Wall.Brookdale is an...

, before transferring to George Washington University
George Washington University
The George Washington University is a private, coeducational comprehensive university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States...

, and then to The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America is a private university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by the U.S. Catholic bishops...

. He did not graduate, instead taking an internship with the administration of President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

. He now calls leaving college one of his "great regrets." Brian Williams completed a total of 18 college credits."

Early career


After working in the lobbying
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 arm of the National Association of Broadcasters
National Association of Broadcasters
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association, workers union, and lobby group representing the interests of for-profit, over-the-air radio and television broadcasters in the United States...

, Williams began his broadcasting career at KOAM-TV
KOAM-TV
KOAM-TV is a television station in Pittsburg, Kansas broadcasting on channel 7 and affiliated with CBS. The station also serves Joplin, Missouri, along with the Four State Area region of Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. KOAM-TV transmits from Columbus, Kansas, and is the sister station to...

 in Pittsburg, Kansas
Pittsburg, Kansas
Pittsburg is a city in Crawford County, in southeastern Kansas, United States. It is the most populous city in Crawford County and in southeastern Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,233.-History:...

 in 1981. A year later he moved back to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and worked at WTTG-TV as general assignment reporter. Williams joined NBC News
NBC News
NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

 from WCBS
WCBS
WCBS may refer to:Assets of CBS* WCBS , a radio station licensed to New York, New York, United States* WCBS-FM, a radio station licensed to New York, New York, United States...

 in New York in 1993 and became the network's chief White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 correspondent in 1994. In 1996, Williams began anchoring The News with Brian Williams
The News with Brian Williams
The News with Brian Williams, first shown on July 15, 1996 , was the former flagship signature news broadcast on both MSNBC and CNBC. The show's host was Brian Williams...

on MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 and rebroadcast on CNBC
CNBC
CNBC is a satellite and cable television business news channel in the U.S., owned and operated by NBCUniversal. The network and its international spinoffs cover business headlines and provide live coverage of financial markets. The combined reach of CNBC and its siblings is 390 million viewers...

.

Nightly News


Williams became anchor of NBC Nightly News
NBC Nightly News
NBC Nightly News is the flagship daily evening television news program for NBC News and broadcasts. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is located in the center...

on December 2, 2004, and his first year in that post was marked by coverage of two disasters: the Asian tsunami
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

 and Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

. NBC personnel felt that the program became his program (rather than predecessor Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw
Thomas John "Tom" Brokaw is an American television journalist and author best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and other books and the recipient of numerous awards and honors...

's) with his coverage of the tsunami, and his reporting on Katrina, including from inside the New Orleans Superdome, was singled out for praise by industry observers. His work helped earn NBC a Peabody Award, the Peabody committee concluding that Williams and the Nightly News staff "exemplified the highest levels of journalistic excellence in reporting on Hurricane Katrina."

Nightly News was the ratings leader among the network evening news programs when Williams became anchor, and it maintained that position until falling slightly behind ABC's World News in the first half of 2007. Nightly News regained the lead later in the year and expanded it beginning in the fall of 2008. By 2010, Williams was portrayed by some in comparison to Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years . During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll...

.

When Williams succeeded Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw
Thomas John "Tom" Brokaw is an American television journalist and author best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and other books and the recipient of numerous awards and honors...

 as anchor of NBC Nightly News, his annual salary was reported to be $8 million, and by October 2006, it had reportedly increased to $10 million. He occasionally fills in for Lester Holt on weekends when needed.

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Williams anchored a simulcast
Simulcast
Simulcast, shorthand for "simultaneous broadcast", refers to programs or events broadcast across more than one medium, or more than one service on the same medium, at the same time. For example, Absolute Radio is simulcast on both AM and on satellite radio, and the BBC's Prom concerts are often...

 between all NBC affiliates and MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 covering the death of Osama bin Laden
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

, going on air before 11:30 pm and continuing coverage until at least 2:00 am.

Rock Center with Brian Williams



On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, it was announced that Williams would be the host of Rock Center with Brian Williams
Rock Center with Brian Williams
Rock Center with Brian Williams is an American weekly television newsmagazine broadcast by NBC, and hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams...

, a newsmagazine program premiering on Monday, October 31, 2011, at 10:00 pm Eastern, replacing the cancelled drama series The Playboy Club
The Playboy Club
The Playboy Club is an American television series that ran on NBC from September 19, 2011 to October 3, 2011. Set in 1961, the series centers around the employees of the original Playboy Club operating in Chicago....

. Named after the nickname of Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

, the New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 landmark where NBC Radio City Studios
NBC Radio City Studios
NBC Radio City Studios is the name given to radio and television studio complexes in New York's Rockefeller Center, San Francisco, and the former radio-TV complex located at the northeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, California....

 are located, the program would become the first new NBC News
NBC News
NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

 program to launch in primetime in nearly two decades.

Appearances


Williams frequently appears on The Daily Show
The Daily Show
The Daily Show , is an American late night satirical television program airing each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. The half-hour long show premiered on July 21, 1996, and was hosted by Craig Kilborn until December 1998...

as a celebrity guest interviewed by Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart is an American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up comedian...

. He appeared on the Weekend Update
Weekend Update
Weekend Update is a Saturday Night Live sketch that comments on and parodies current events. It is the show's longest running recurring sketch, having been on since the show's first broadcast, and is typically presented in the middle of the show immediately after the first musical performance...

segment of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

before hosting the program on November 3, 2007.

Brian regularly appears on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is an American late-night talk show hosted by Jimmy Fallon on NBC. The show premiered on March 2, 2009, as the third incarnation of the Late Night franchise originated by David Letterman....

, where he slow jam
Slow jam
A slow jam an umbrella term for music with R&B and Soul influences. Slow jams are commonly R&B ballads or down tempo songs. The term is most commonly reserved for soft-sounding songs with heavily emotional or romantic lyrical content. This definition has led to intense debate over whether...

s the news of the previous week as Fallon sings and reiterates what Brian says, with The Roots
The Roots
The Roots is an American hip hop/neo soul band formed in 1987 by Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are famed for beginning with a jazzy, eclectic approach to hip hop which still includes live instrumentals...

 providing the musical backing. He has also made numerous appearances on Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman
Late Show with David Letterman is a U.S. late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS. The show debuted on August 30, 1993, and is produced by Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated. The show's music director and band-leader of the house band, the CBS Orchestra, is...

despite its being on CBS, a competing network. During an appearance on July 26, 2011, Williams demonstrated a skilled vocal impersonation of TV personality Regis Philbin
Regis Philbin
Regis Francis Xavier Philbin is an American media personality, actor and singer, known for hosting talk and game shows since the 1960s. Philbin is often called "the hardest working man in show business" and holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera...

. Williams has also appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am...

where he took part in numerous skits and interviews.

Brian also frequently makes guest appearances on NBC's television comedy 30 Rock
30 Rock
30 Rock is an American television comedy series created by Tina Fey that airs on NBC. The series is loosely based on Fey's experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live...

as a caricatured version of himself. In the episode The Ones
The Ones (30 Rock)
"The Ones" is the nineteenth episode of the third season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock. It was written by co-executive producer Jack Burditt, and directed by Beth McCarthy. The episode aired in the United States on April 23, 2009, on the National Broadcasting Company . Guest...

, he's seen at home receiving proposition calls meant for Tracy Jordan. In Audition Day
Audition Day
"Audition Day" is the fourth episode of the fourth season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock, and the 62nd overall episode of the series. The episode was written by supervising producer Matt Hubbard and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller. It originally aired on the National Broadcasting...

, he auditions to be a new TGS cast member. He also is seen once on the show taunting an MSNBC news host.

Personal life


He lives in New Canaan
New Canaan, Connecticut
New Canaan is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States, northeast of Stamford, on the Fivemile River. The population was 19,738 according to the 2010 census.The town is one of the most affluent communities in the United States...

, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, with his wife, Jane Stoddard Williams, two children, Allison and Douglas Williams, and two dogs.

NASCAR


Williams is an avid fan of NASCAR
NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

. He was first exposed to auto racing as a child attending races on dirt tracks all over upstate New York
Upstate New York
Upstate New York is the region of the U.S. state of New York that is located north of the core of the New York metropolitan area.-Definition:There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York...

. In 1999, Williams was the studio host of the first NASCAR race ever shown on NBC
NASCAR on NBC
NASCAR on NBC, identified by its on-air logo as NBC NASCAR, was a series of NASCAR races that aired on the network from 2001-2006. Prior to the contract that gave NBC broadcast rights the network aired races as early as the 1964 World 600...

, the Pennzoil 400
Ford 400
The Ford 400 is a NASCAR Sprint Cup stock car race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.The race is relatively new on the NASCAR circuit, first being run in 1999. Since 2002, the Ford 400 has been part of the Ford Championship Weekend, the last week of the NASCAR season. Starting...

 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway is a race track in Homestead, Florida southwest of Miami.Since 2002 Homestead has hosted the final races of the season in all three of NASCAR's series: the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series...

. Two years later, at NASCAR's awards banquet in New York City, he introduced a videotaped tribute to Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt
Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was an American race car driver, best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR...

, who had died
Death of Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt was an American race car driver who gained fame driving stock cars for NASCAR and winning seven championships. He was involved in a car accident during the last lap of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2001. He was taken to Halifax Medical Center,...

 at the Daytona 500
2001 Daytona 500
The 2001 Daytona 500, the 43rd running of the event, was held on February 18, 2001 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida over 200 laps on the 2.5 mile asphalt tri-oval. Bill Elliott won the pole. The race will be forever remembered for the final lap...

 some months earlier. Earnhardt and Williams had become close friends.

Career timeline

  • 1981: KOAM-TV
    KOAM-TV
    KOAM-TV is a television station in Pittsburg, Kansas broadcasting on channel 7 and affiliated with CBS. The station also serves Joplin, Missouri, along with the Four State Area region of Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. KOAM-TV transmits from Columbus, Kansas, and is the sister station to...

  • 1982–1984: WTTG-TV correspondent
  • 1985: Panorama Host
  • 1985–1987: WCAU-TV New Jersey correspondent
  • 1987–1993: WCBS-TV
    WCBS-TV
    WCBS-TV, channel 2, is the flagship station of the CBS television network, located in New York City. The station's studios are located within the CBS Broadcast Center and its transmitter is atop the Empire State Building, both in Midtown Manhattan....

     Anchor of weekday noon and weekend night newscasts; reporter
  • 1993–1994: NBC News
    NBC News
    NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

     correspondent
  • 1994–1996: NBC News
    NBC News
    NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

     White House correspondent
  • 1996–2004: The News with Brian Williams
    The News with Brian Williams
    The News with Brian Williams, first shown on July 15, 1996 , was the former flagship signature news broadcast on both MSNBC and CNBC. The show's host was Brian Williams...

    anchor
  • 2004–present: NBC Nightly News
    NBC Nightly News
    NBC Nightly News is the flagship daily evening television news program for NBC News and broadcasts. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is located in the center...

    anchor
  • 2011–present: Rock Center with Brian Williams
    Rock Center with Brian Williams
    Rock Center with Brian Williams is an American weekly television newsmagazine broadcast by NBC, and hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams...

    host

External links