Life of Brian
By Sinéad OBrien
Sinéad O'Brien is a former AJR editorial assistant.
NBC White House correspondent Brian Williams has become so attached to his beat that even becoming anchor of the prime time news hour on the upstart NBC-Microsoft venture, MSNBC , isn't enough to tear him away.
MSNBC, which debuts on July 15, will feature Williams on "The News with Brian Williams." That leaves Williams, 37, with nearly four months of double duty before the presidential election.
"It's going to be difficult the next few months," Williams says, "but I couldn't see the Clinton White House this far and say, 'Well, see ya.' "
In addition to his addiction to covering the White House, Williams serves as the primary substitute for Tom Brokaw and the Saturday anchor of "The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw." Perhaps as a result of his occasional occupation of Brokaw's seat, there has been much speculation that Williams is NBC's heir apparent to Brokaw. But Williams says the title is undeserved.
"This heir business started with a healthy imagination of a TV critic and, like many things, became fact," he says, at the same time admitting that it is "flattering to be mentioned in the same sentence as a great name I venerate in this battle."
While Williams is thrilled with the prospect of anchoring his own news program, he says he will miss the rush of covering presidential politics, an occupation he describes as "long, unabashed stretches of boredom with quick spurts of pure adrenaline."
But he has already discovered what aspect of his new job will give him the same rush. Williams says he can't wait to anchor from remote locations outside the studio. "Working without a TelePrompTer is like working without a net," he says. "It's pure energy, pure fun." ###