EXCLUSIVE: Lester Holt has been named managing editor of NBC Nightly News, which he has anchored since 2015.
The announcement of the managing editor title was made earlier this week by NBC News president Noah Oppenheim. Holt also is said to have signed a contract extension, something that is typical when new titles are announced.
Oppenheim wrote in a memo to staffers that “in recognition of Lester’s role driving every aspect of the Nightly News broadcast, he has been named Managing Editor of Nightly, effective immediately. Recently honored with an Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award, there is simply no journalist held in greater esteem. We are so fortunate to have him not only in front of the camera, but guiding the Nightly team in their outstanding work.” Holt’s predecessor, Brian Williams, also held the managing editor title when he was NBC Nightly News anchor.
In his memo on Holt, Oppenheim noted that he was anchoring from Houston as the network kicked off The Climate Challenge, tied to Earth Day. “This is just the beginning of Lester’s return to the field, post-vaccination, as travel opens up and he resumes the work he does better than anyone – taking our audience to the scene of consequential stories all over the world,” Oppenheim wrote.
Holt’s agent Ken Linder referred questions about the promotion to an NBC News spokesperson, who declined to comment.
Holt joined NBC News in 2000, and went on to anchor weekend editions of the newscast and serve as co-anchor of Weekend Today. He’s lately finished some of his broadcasts with remarks and analysis on major news events, as he did earlier this week following the Derek Chauvin guilty verdicts.
“As we have seen just in recent days and weeks, it has not stopped deadly confrontations between the police and Black men,” he said. “But tonight, the family of George Floyd has received justice in a Minneapolis courtroom. What happens on America’s streets might tell us if there is a deeper reckoning in the tragedy of George Floyd.”
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