EXCLUSIVE: Brian Williams to The Today Show for the May Book


Move over Lester Holt, BriWi is about to do the double shift 4 days a week.

In an effort to get the Today Show back on the ratings track, FTVLive has learned exclusively that the NBC Nightly News Anchor will be co-hosting the Today Show during the upcoming May ratings book.

He will also be doing his "regular" job as the anchor of NBC Nightly News. Although he will be taking Friday nights off from Nightly.


During the May rating period Williams will be co-hosting the Today Show with Savannah Guthrie from 7-9AM then after a couple of hours off, he'll be back at 30 Rock to work on and then anchor Nightly News.

"The request came straight from Steve Burke (NBC's CEO) and I told him I would do it," says Williams to FTVLive.com.

So what happens to Matt Lauer?

We hear that Lauer will still be part of the Today Show during the May book.

"Matt will be doing a very special edition of his widely popular 'Where in the World is Matt Lauer?' segments for the Today Show," an NBC spokeswoman tells FTVLive. 

The difference, NBC plans to send Lauer to Ghazni, Afghanistan for his first location. The network will drop Lauer off in Ghazni with no camera crew and no money. The hope is he doesn't make it back to New York until the May book is well over.

"Unlike in segments past, even us at NBC will have no idea 'Where in the World is Matt Lauer?' until he shows up back at 30 Rock," the spokeswomen said.

As for Williams, he knows it's going to be long days with little sleep.

"Lester Holt does this shift on Weekends and I have already talks to Lester and got his advice," Williams said via phone on Sunday night.

"Lester tells me there is a little cubby hole behind Today Show set in studio 1A that he uses a a place to grab a few minutes sleep when he can," Williams adds. "Lester is going to show me where it is sometime this week."


Word is the secret cubby was where Al Roker used to keep his Twinkie's and Ho Ho's back in his fatter days. It's also where Hoda and Kathie Lee store the hard stuff when they get sick of the wine. 

Williams will be getting Friday nights off from Nightly during through book, so he can grab some much needed rest. 

"I told Steve (Burke) that if I was going to pull a double shift, I should at least get Friday Nights off," Williams said.

Burke agreed to the request and BriWi couldn't be more happy.

"I really wouldn't have minded hosting Nightly on Friday nights as well, I just wanted to have the night off so I didn't have to be anywhere near Rock Center," Williams said. "I mean have you seen that show?....it Blows," Williams added.

So who will be filling in for Mr. Williams on Friday's Nightly during the May Sweeps?


Word is that NBC is going to roll the dice and let Ann Curry anchor the Friday night newscast.

"Ann has been through so much, management thought they would throw her a bone," says an NBC insider to FTVLive.

But, FTVLive has learned that to make sure Curry doesn't deviate from her script and speak ill of the Peacock, NBC will have a stage hand under the anchor desk with a stun gun.

Curry has been told that if she goes off script the stage hand has been ordered  to "zap her" with the stun gun on her thigh. Curry has agreed to those terms.


NBC's hope is that Brian Williams, who is number one in the evening can bring some of his ratings magic to morning television. Williams says he's ready. "I have already purchased of case 5 Hour energy drinks and I know I'll be able to pull it off". 

NBC is hoping Williams will put some energy in the Today Show ratings as well.

Stay tuned...