Tag: Lester Holt

Lester Holt Becomes Permanent Anchor for NBC “Nightly News”

Lester Holt Anchor for NBC (Photo: ew.com)
NBC Anchor Lester Holt (Photo: ew.com)

Lester Holt will take over the anchor chair at NBC’s “Nightly News” permanently, while Brian Williams takes another position in the organization in the wake of his disclosure earlier this year that he falsified details of a reporting trip to Iraq, according to press reports released Wednesday night.

NBC News declined to comment on the reports, made by CNN and The Wall Street Journal. Robert Barnett, an attorney for Brian Williams who has represented him in negotiations with NBC, also declined to comment after being email Wednesday evening.

Williams’ fate remains uncertain, though The New York Times reported Thursday he could move to MSNBC, the cable-news network also owned by parent NBCUniversal.

The moves, which the reports suggested could be announced as early as Thursday, would help stem a period of tumult for NBC News. The NBCUniversal unit has seen its flagship evening newscast lose in the ratings to ABC News’ “World News Tonight,” anchored by David Muir. Season to date, the ABC newscast has edged out “Nightly News” in the audience most coveted by advertisers, viewers aged 25 to 54.

NBC News has yet to disclose to the public the results of an investigation into Williams’ behavior, the scope of which included not only his false descriptions of a ride aboard a Chinook helicopter, but also certain descriptions of events he purported to take part in during travels for NBC News. The company is clearly banking on the idea that the wide appeal Williams had with viewers will endure if it removes him from a position where trust and credibility are paramount. ABC News faced a similar issue recently its chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, disclosed he had made charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation without telling viewers, even when those contributions could create the perception of a bias.

If Williams is received well by viewers, he could lend a boost to MSNBC, which has struggled with ratings as of late against rivals Fox News Channel and CNN. The network has reworked its daytime schedule to focus more heavily on breaking news while reserving is primetime schedule for personalities who view events through a progressive or liberal lens.

Holt, meantime, has held his own with Muir, sometimes winning more overall viewers to the NBC newscast week by week. NBC has not lent his newscast any promotion since he took the reins of the program from Williams in February.

Meantime, the anchor has scored some noticeable scoops, including an exclusive interview with the bystander who captured video of a South Carolina police officer shooting Walter Scott, and even led the newscast one evening from a seat in a helicopter. If Holt can keep his facts straight about the chopper, he will likely enjoy his tenure in the anchor seat.

article by Brian Steinberg via Variety.com

Couple Who Met in a Homeless Shelter Pay it Forward, Help Others Transform Lives

Deven and Ressurrection on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. (Photo courtesy of Glory Soldiers Global)
Deven and Ressurrection Graves on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. (Photo courtesy of Glory Soldiers Global)

Homeless for three years, Ressurrection Graves vividly remembers the week she slept in her car, waiting for beds to become available at a Washington, D.C., homeless shelter. It was the week of Aug. 23, 2011, when a 5.8 earthquake shook the Virginia area and Hurricane Irene battered the East Coast with wind and rain.  “I prayed and was asking God how this could end,” she told TODAY.com. “It was like, ‘Make it stop!’”

When beds finally became available at the shelter, Ressurrection checked in. And there she met Deven Graves, the “kind” man with whom she would leave homelessness behind and start an organization that is helping people caught in a cycle of poverty, including more than 75 homeless individuals so far this year.

“I had this guy staring at me,” Ressurrection recalled of her first encounter with Deven. “It felt like he was looking into my soul. It’s certainly not what you’re expecting in the environment I was in.”

In an interview with TODAY’s Lester Holt on Saturday, Graves added to the story and said she “certainly did not go to a shelter to look for a man,” but the pair had an instant connection that she called “magical.”  Deven, a veteran, had a difficult time making the transition from military to civilian life. That and the death of a family member left him feeling “a little bit lost,” Ressurrection said. He was living at the shelter while working construction jobs and looking for something more permanent.

Deven wooed her over a game of chess, and asked if she would edit his resume. As an entrepreneurial-minded mother who owned her own massage business before she fell on hard times, Ressurrection was impressed. But she didn’t want to get serious until they were out of the shelter.  It didn’t take long. After a month, Ressurrection and Deven saved up enough money from their jobs to move out. Their first date was “romantic and affordable,” a picnic at a park near the water.

Five months later, Deven proposed. They decided to hold a wedding ceremony on a day of special significance: the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

So on Aug. 28, 2013, two years to the date after Ressurrection and Deven played their first game of chess, the couple exchanged vows on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial as they heard President Obama‘s voice echoing across the water during his speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

“I felt nothing but peace and joy,” Deven said. “It was a blessing.”

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