×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC News Readies Edgy Promo Campaign for Lester Holt’s ‘Nightly News’

NBC News is shaking up the typical methodology of promoting evening news with a new campaign aimed at getting viewers to watch more of Lester Holt.

Current promos for “NBC Nightly News” show the anchor talking to people whose lives have been torn apart by massive flooding. “Sometimes, it’s nice to see all the good out there,” he says in narration. But a new effort slated to launch Friday evening amps up the action, and features a whirlwind of jump-cut images depicting Holt talking to a pilot in a plane; stepping along while covering wildfires; and interviewing President Donald Trump in a landmark exchange from May of 2017. NBC News correspondents Hallie Jackson and Kristen Welker are also shown at work.

Words superimposed over the scenes tell viewers they “get the story….as if you were there.” The images may come even faster and more furiously than those used in the signature “Eye Opener” segment that kicks off each broadcast of “CBS This Morning.” The new slogan: “The story told nightly.”

NBC News launches the effort as its “NBC Nightly News” continues to vie with ABC’s “World News Tonight” for viewers. The ABC program, anchored by David Muir, has won more viewers overall for 25 consecutive weeks – a category the NBC newscast once dominated regularly. Season to date,  the NBC program continues to lead in the more important business category – the viewers between 25 and 54 that advertisers in news programming desire most.

The new campaign may  serve to highlight several behind-the-scenes changes to the NBC newscast. The show has a new interim executive producer, Jenn Suozzo. Her first week in the role was the week of July 30. NBC News has added several new end segments to the program, including “Snapshot” which examines how everyday and even extraordinary Americans are leading their lives; a Thursday vignette known as “Spotlight” that looks at celebrities and popular culture of the moment; and a Friday report called “Above and Beyond” showcasing people who rose to a moment or went the extra mile.

Holt, who officially took over “Nightly” in the summer of 2015, has put an emphasis on getting out from behind the anchor desk and getting his feet on the ground in newsy scenes. In the new promo, there is only one shot of Holt on the “Nightly” set – and that is a still image that comes at the end.

Other news outlets have emphasized action in recent promotional efforts, part of a broader trend that plays up field reporting and you-are-there images over formal shots of posing in the studio. MSNBC’s current campaign, for example, features anchors like Andrea Mitchell in the midst of confrontational interviews in the halls of Washington institutions.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

  • ABC Studios Logo

    ABC Studios Head of Alternative Fernando Hernandez Exits

    ABC Studios’ head of alternative Fernando Hernandez has departed from his post at the Disney-owned television studio, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Hernandez’s exit follows an executive shuffling at the top in recent months that has included the departure of Amy Hartwick, ABC Studio’s head [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content