Brian Williams is expected to formally return to the TV-news trenches on September 22, when he will start new duties at cable network MSNBC, according to a spokesman at NBCUniversal. His new assignment will entail covering breaking news throughout the daytime portion of the network’s schedule.
His appearance on the network will coincide with coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. It remains unclear as to whether Williams’ duties will entail reporting from the field, sticking to a studio, or a mix of both over time.
The new job marks a return, of sorts. Between 1996 and 2004, Williams served as an NBC anchor, and even held forth during an hour-long broadcast called “The News with Brian Williams,” and offered a less formal take on the day’s events. He eventually moved to the main NBC News evening broadcast, taking reins handed over by Tom Brokaw.
Now, Williams will appear on MSNBC under different circumstances. He is one of the best-known personalities at NBCUniversal, but has suffered a tremendous reversal of fortune. In February, Williams acknowledged fabricating some details around a reporting excursion made to Iraq in 2003. MSNBC would no doubt like Williams to help in its efforts to reverse multiple months of ratings declines and to focus its daytime programming on breaking news. Whether audiences will embrace him fully remains to be seen.