Williams return to the air is an opportunity for him rehabilitate his image and perhaps restore some of the trust lost for making up details about a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq.
“This does have the feeling of a momentous occasion”, Jansing said of the Pope’s arrival. “I’m proud of how this network dealt with this”, he said.
Overnight, Williams – once the most popular newsman on TV – disappeared like one of Spinal Tap’s unfortunate drummers.
In an interview Monday, Williams’ boss, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, said that Williams has paid the price and earned the right to come back.
Williams did, however, reflect on the statements leading to his suspension during a June interview on the “Today” show.
“And good day, I’m Brian Williams in New York”, said the 56-year-old anchor as he opened MSNBC’s coverage of Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States at 3PM EST on September 22.
“Mohr further elaborated on the relationship between Burkey and Williams as the pair have now both been kicked down to the peacock network’s cable channel: “‘Pat’s going with Brian, but it’s being looked at like a demotion, ‘ said a source.
Williams did not address the controversy or the reason for his time away during his return.
This removed Williams from the NBC desk and was replaced by now Nightly News anchor, Lester Holt.
His return was timed to coincide with MSNBC’s revamp and to offer some control over his first appearance. Others are questioning how Williams’ role will evolve after Pope Francis departs, and whether the move to MSNBC was a way to ease him into a bigger role at the network.
Back then, Williams was at Catholic University when the pope visited. That’s because as a breaking news anchor, Williams has not been assigned to a specific time slot on the network.
“Coming up next, the news continues with Kate Snow“, he said, signing off.
After a decade of evening visits into the homes of millions of Americans as the anchor of NBC Nightly News, Williams suddenly disappeared from the public eye last February, silenced by a scandal over his on-air embellishments of experiences in the field.
Before that, Williams did some long-range cross country driving, by himself, Lack told the Post.
Jonathan Klein, the former president of CNN, said that NBC needed to buttress its news division in the wake of Mr. Williamss downfall.
For Williams, the biggest factor on whether or not he can succeed and be given another chance is whether or not the viewers will be ready to accept him back, and also accept what he says as truth.