Why Megyn Kelly should replace Brian Williams at NBC

Embattled NBC Nightly News, managing editor and anchor Brian Williams got some support from the network after a week that saw the top rated newscast take a credibility hit. The network has begun an investigation into the Nightly News anchor following his admission this week that he falsely claimed to have been on a helicopter that was shot down by enemy fire while reporting for NBC News on the ground Iraq in 2003.

For now the network is willing to accept Williams apology and stands behind him while at the same time gathering more information on man who is the face of NBC News

I think that if NBC chooses to make a change from Williams then go big and go bold – they need to hire Fox News superstar Megyn Kelly. Make no mistake about it she is smart, has the skills to be a big time network anchor and she brings fans with her.

Recently she was the main profile in the New York Times Sunday Magazine ,(read here) and the article was very insightful on the future trajectory for Ms. Kelly and anchoring the NBC Nightly News, could be a good fit for both the network and the present Fox News superstar.

She is one of the most dynamic stars in all of broadcast news and clearly someone that NBC News could use to fill the anchor spot. Okay, my friends are going to say that I have lost my mind and that my weakness for beautiful, bright and powerful women has clouded my judgement.

Yes, Kelly is beautiful, she is smart and she has the ability to be powerful. But first and foremost she has the skills that are needed at NBC right now. I feel that she has the ability to be objective, while doing a good job being the new face of NBC News.

She is a strong anchor, solid on her interviews and is fearless when getting to the heart of the story. She is the only “fair and balanced part” of Fox News male dominated prime-time program slate.

“The Kelly File,” is the network’s biggest new hit, writes Jim Rutenberg, the chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, and appeals to a younger and more diverse demographic, as she does not only hesitate to attack liberals, but often turns her tough questions to Republican sources as well.

Kelly would be a great add for NBC News and there is no doubt in my mind that she could not only hold NBC’ s nightly dominance but likely increase the numbers over both CBS and ABC. It would be the boldest move that NBC could make but it would be a very savvy one and one that would quickly stop any conversation about what is happening to Williams.

If Kelly does not get the job then look for it to go to NBC anchor Lester Holt, who already has logged plenty of hours subbing for Williams. He is a solid anchor, the network could stay in house and Holt, already has built a strong following from his many assignments for NBC.

Two NBC high visibility long shots are the Today Show team of Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, neither is likely to get the job. First, neither has a great deal of anchor experience and frankly the Today Show because it runs three hours is worth more to NBC from a sponsor standpoint.

An out of the box choice could be someone who rapidly becoming a star in his own right on Telemundo, and  that is Jose Diaz-Balart. He has become an award winning anchor and has 30 years behind the desk that should give him some consideration if the network willing to make a bold move.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is a name that seems to come up every time there is a network anchor opening. He was passed over by both ABC and CBS so for him to land at NBC doesn’t seem to be likely.

Assuming that Williams goes, and that is a big assumption then I still think that Kelly is the way to go for NBC.




Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.