Brian Williams is America’s most-watched television news anchor. But this is surely not destined to be a wholly popular selection.
Pundits scoff that network news anchors are overrated. For openers, they don’t command the same stature (yet) of their predecessors. Over the years, the 6:30 p.m. audience has shrunk, thanks to competition from cable television, video games and the Internet.
Plus, skeptics carp that anchors merely read the news off a teleprompter, in a climate-controlled studio, while correspondents risk their lives in trouble spots around the world. People grew so jaded that, even after Bob Woodruff, of ABC’s evening broadcast, was seriously injured in Iraq, an anchor’s image didn’t improve greatly.
Fair enough, on all counts. Still, Brian Williams, the anchor of “NBC Nightly News” (GE), is my pick to be the Broadcast Journalist of the Year — on merit I appreciate Williams because he has shown that nice guys can finish first on TV. An individual doesn’t have to yell to be heard. In his quiet, understated way, Williams stands at the top of his field.