Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Savannah Guthrie May Replace Brian Williams at NBC Nightly News

REAL ANCHOR CHOPS or JUST ANOTHER PRETTY TALKING HEAD?

It is rumored that Savannah Guthrie may be at the top of the list as the replacement for Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News.

Williams got himself in a lot of hot water over the last few weeks when allegations surfaced that his reporting of an incident in Iraq may have been an outright lie. This has led others to begin investigating other reports given by Williams over the years in which his reporting of events in Katrina and other stories may have been pure fabrications to garner headlines and place him in a favorable light.

Currently Williams is in the biggest fight of his professional career to keep his job at NBC, however, regardless of the outcome confidence in his future reporting will always be lacking.

A lot of names have surfaced over these last several days concerning who would replace him at the anchor desk that has been filled over the years with the likes of Tom Brokaw (1982-2004), who held that post longer than any other journalist. His predecessors were Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, only it was called the Huntley-Brinkley Report when they began co-anchoring the news in 1970. Upon the retirement of Huntley, David Brinkley teamed up with John Chancellor and the network renamed the news hour NBC Nightly News. After Brinkley retired Chancellor went solo and the anchor desk as remained a one-man show ever since.

Brokaw stepped down in 2004 and Williams got the nod. Considered one of the best reporters in the business Williams carved out quite a niche for himself in the world of journalism, however, that house of cards is now coming down all around him.

Since the fib-debacle several replacements have been mentioned ranging from old stand-by reporters like Katie Couric to even bringing back Brokaw or Jane Pauley to fill the void until a suitable full-time anchor can be found. The whole reason these last two names have been bandied about was to bring back a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness to NBC’s news reporting.

However, Guthrie’s name keeps popping up in the circles that matter in both New York and Washington, D.C. so getting to know what this journalist is all about may help explain the interest in her.

First, this would be NBC’s first full-time female Nightly News solo anchor. Also, Ms. Guthrie’s credentials are quite impressive. She was born in Australia when her American parents were stationed there and received her degree in journalism from the University of Arizona in 1993 graduating Cum laude. Guthrie went on to get her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University. She has risen through the ranks beginning with small stations in Missouri and Arizona. Her biggest career break began with a job at a Washington, D.C. station which put her front and center as an important local reporter after the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. It was her reporting of the Pentagon aftermath that caught the attention of network execs for NBC news. They hired her as a NBC correspondent and eventually named her the network’s White House correspondent in 2008. Having also worked as a litigator Guthrie was assigned as NBC New’s Chief Legal Analyst. By 2012 she co-hosted the Today Show after Meredith Vieira decided to move on.

It would appear that Savannah Guthrie has the credentials, the experience and likely the tough skin needed to fill the position of news anchor for a major network news show. What remains to be seen is does she have the integrity everyone thought Brian Williams had. If she gets the nod we may soon know.

The only other question is can Savannah replace Bri-Bri for the periodic Jimmy Fallon news-rap on The Tonight Show?

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