As anchor of MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams and heir apparent to NBC Nightly News veteran Tom Brokaw who's fueled retirement rumors by taking a 10-week summer siesta on his Montana ranch Brian Williams is a rising star. But with slightly over a year left on his contract, is the ambitious, handsome newsman eyeing other options even as he waits for Brokaw to abdicate his anchor desk?
"I don't see Brian waiting on anybody," Peacock president and COO Andrew Lack tells TV Guide Online. "He's pretty busy doing what he's doing." Still, word is if Williams is made to coast too long, the anchor may jump ship. So just how high a priority is it for NBC to keep him happy?
"We're good friends and close colleagues," Lack says. "His happiness is very important to me. We have worked together very closely on his career. He's going to have a lot more opportunities at NBC and if we didn't deliver on those opportunities with him, he would have plenty of opportunities elsewhere.
"But," the honcho hedges, "it's not a concern of mine or Brian's, I don't think. He knows that NBC has been a great place for him and is committed to ensuring that it's a great place for him going forward. How that plays itself out... precisely how and when? Don't know yet. Can't tell you, but we talk all the time and work very closely together."
Younger than stately Brokaw and sexier than Today
's Matt Lauer
(who's more yesterday's "It" boy), Williams's is a face news junkies are eager to see front and center. Is it his sandy hair and chiseled features that so appeals to them? Or perhaps those soulful eyes? Chuckles Lack: "Brian's success is because he's so damn good. He's whip smart; he's a serious journalist. But on a very human level, I think the audience senses this is a regular guy. It's about the brains and skills, not the good looks... But sometimes I'd like to mess up his hair a little bit!"