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It’s Official: Lester Holt Named ‘NBC Nightly News’ Anchor, Brian Williams Demoted to MSNBC

On Thursday, NBC News made it official: longtime newsman Lester Holt is no longer the temporary “Nightly News” host, he’s the full-time anchor.

NBC News’s recently appointed boss, Andrew Lack, made it official this week, giving the 56-year-old Holt the nod for the job vacated by Brian Williams.

Many insiders campaigned for Holt to replace Williams. Holt is widely liked and was said deserving of consideration.

“Lester has done outstanding work for NBC News over the last ten years, and he’s performed remarkably well over the last few months under very tough circumstances,” Lack said in a statement. “He’s an exceptional anchor who goes straight to the heart of every story and is always able to find its most direct connection to the everyday lives of our audience. In many ways, television news stands at a crossroads, and Lester is the perfect person to meet the moment.”

Holt started his long CBS news career in New York in 1981 before moving to Chicago in 1986 with a brief stint in Los Angeles in between. He spent the next 14 years in the Windy City but joined MSNBC in 2000. He quickly became the go-to fill-in host on various NBC news programs and was also chosen to host several ongoing series. Holt immediately became the temporary anchor of “Nightly News” once the now disgraced Williams was placed on suspension earlier this year.

Holt also anchors “Dateline” and “Weekend TODAY,” though it is unknown if he will continue hosting these programs now that he has been named the “Nightly News” anchor.

Meanwhile, the results of an internal investigation found that former anchor Brian Williams simply made too many false statements about his personal bio to continue as the face of NBC’s flagship news program.

Williams has been demoted to the ratings challenged MSNBC where news chief Lack says the former top anchor will be able to “earn back everyone’s trust.”

For his part, Williams officially apologized saying:

I’m sorry. I said things that weren’t true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I’m determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100% as he has always supported me. I am grateful for the chance to return to covering the news. My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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