Brian Williams has his start time locked in for his return to television following an extended suspension by NBC News over Williams’ widely reported exaggerations.
Deadline.com reports that Williams is set to debut today at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT on MSNBC, giving him about an hour to settle in before the anticipated 4 p.m. ET arrival of Pope Francis at Andrews Air Force Base.
Williams will be anchoring the cable network’s coverage of the Pope’s U.S. visit.
“Expect to see Williams on the air a couple hours [today], and to continue anchoring throughout the week, primarily, though not exclusively, from the new news desk built for MSNBC at studio 3A inside 30 Rock — the same studio from which many of MSNBC’s dayside shows are telecast,” the story reports.
Deadline adds: “Do not expect Williams to make any kind of preliminary statement about his return to air, though [today] will mark his first time on live TV since February when he anchored his last ‘NBC Nightly News’ telecast.”
The report also says viewers should not expect to see Williams with Pope Francis. “Among the allegations NBC News was believed to have been investigating were claims Williams had changed his account of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Catholic University in the late 70’s while Williams was a student there,” Deadline notes. “Initially, Williams said he was there at the time; later he said he received a blessing from John Paul. Neither account was given on an NBC News program.”
Williams can be expected to keep his focus on the Pope’s visit, the report add, noting: “What viewers will see is a Brian Williams who’s studied up, intent on turning the page, and comports himself like a guy who wants to anchor the news, not make it, according to an insider.”