Brian Williams is leaving MSNBC and NBC next month, he says. He’s been with NBC for 27 years, and MSNBC since 2016.
The network is saying he wants to spend more time with his family which is code for “we didn’t want to pay him more and he’s taking his chances elsewhere.” But Williams will turn up somewhere else after the new year. maybe CNN Plus.
MSNBC is crumbling before our eyes. Rachel Maddow has already said she’ll leave her daily show next year and appear monthly or occasionally or something. But she’s the lead ratings getter, and she wants out, too.
All of this suggests that Rashida Jones — not the really gifted comic actress who’s the daughter of Quincy Jones — is taking a wrecking ball to an already precarious structure. Consistency is the key to success on these nighttime news networks. That’s why Fox News does so well. The only people who leave are discovered to be part of a scandal and are forced out.
Williams started his 11pm MSNBC show in 2016 after a time out from the network after he was discovered to be a prevaricator and embellisher.
NBC isn’t alone in having problems with on air talent. CBS News is a mess under new leadership that let Norah O’Donnell be kicked around in the press last week. With audiences shrinking, the news shows will soon be hosted by game show celebrities. The evening news will be retitled “Press Your Luck.”
Think I’m kidding? Just wait.