Maybe Dan Rather was wrong and Brian Williams isn’t done at NBC after all.
According to the New York Daily News, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack is looking for a way to bring Williams back to the anchor chair of the Nightly News instead of firing him or pressuring him to resign.
Lack, the Daily News notes, is a longtime friend of the suspended anchor dating back to his time when he was the president of the news division—from 1993 to 2003—and helped position Williams to succeed Tom Brokaw behind the anchor desk.
A source told the Daily News that Lack believes that viewers want Williams back and that his problems seem to be more with the media than the viewers, adding that if Lack can find a way to get him back on the air he will do it.
Lack, however, will face an uphill battle getting Williams back on the air, based on information leaked from the network’s investigation into his fabrications. The investigation turned up 11 instances of Williams’ reporting that failed to line up with the truth, which should make the decision of what to do with him an easy one.
But Lack is apparently hoping that delaying a decision will give him more time to convince the other executives of Williams’ worth. But the delay will only make it look like the network is trying to protect its former star and isn’t really concerned about its own integrity and credibility.
Friendship shouldn’t get in the way of business, but that is exactly what is happening in this case, to the detriment of NBC News.