Brian Williams Wanted to Succeed Letterman

According to new investigative report
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2015 10:18 AM CDT

(Newser) Previous reports have noted that Brian Williams once lobbied for Jay Leno's Tonight Show job, and now it turns out Williams tried to get David Letterman's job, too. That's just one of the tidbits from a new investigative piece by Gabriel Sherman in New York that takes a long look at the inner workings of NBC News. After Williams told the NBCUniversal CEO his dream of taking over the Tonight Show, the anchor was instead given Rock Center, which got mediocre ratings and was canceled after just two seasons. That's when Williams pitched his Letterman idea, Sherman writes.

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A "high-level source" says Williams went to CBS CEO Les Moonves with his proposal to succeed Letterman, but Moonves "wasn't interested." Williams is far from the only NBC talent skewered in Sherman's piece: Matt Lauer, for example, is painted as particularly hard to work with, once reportedly griping, "This is like Lilith Fair" when a group of female producers was suggested to take over Today. Click for the full piece. (Read more David Letterman stories.)

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