After Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt and the entire staff marked the broadcast’s 70th anniversary and were even joined by former anchor Tom Brokaw. As TVNewser described it: “Producers, editors, and anchors, past and present, gathered in the NBC newsroom following Wednesday’s show to toast 70 years of NBC’s evening newscast, which began as the NBC Television Newsreel, a 10-minute program, on Feb. 16, 1948.”
However, one of the evening newscasts longtime anchors was apparently absent – disgraced ex-host Brian Williams. It was just three years ago, in February of 2015, when Williams was suspended from the show pending an investigation into his false statements about his coverage of the Iraq war. In June of that year, it was officially announced by NBC News that Holt would permanently replace Williams.
Anchoring his first broadcast as the new Nightly News anchor, Holt told viewers on June 22, 2015:
Before we go, as of tonight, this program has a new name, and I'm honored to say a new anchor. Your loyalty and viewership during a difficult time has been appreciated by all of us on this program and I want to express my sincere thanks to my friend and colleague Brian Williams for his kind words of support. We hope to see all of you each and every night.
According to TVNewser, on Wednesday night, Holt told attendees of the anniversary party:
I look around this room and I look at the different generations who have had their hands in this broadcast, and it stands for something. It’s rooted in something deep, but it’s not a museum piece. This broadcast continues to grow while being grounded in certain standards. What I see in this room are individuals who are there for the viewers and for each other.
Those “certain standards” have not always been a high priority for Nightly News.