Hopes Fade for BriWi's Return to NBC

The leaks from NBC and Brian Williams' Agent and friends continue and depending on which you believe, BriLie is for sure headed back, or he has no chance of returning. 

The LA Times weighs in from the Left Coast, saying that hopes of Williams return are fading.

They write, speculation that Williams is a goner heated up last weekend after several reports based on unnamed sources said NBC's review found numerous situations in which the anchor publicly embellished statements about his reporting. Some competitors even suggested that NBC was behind the leaks as a pressure tactic to get Williams to resign and let the network reduce or get out of its contractual obligation to pay him more than $50 million over the next five years.

But NBC News Chairman Andy Lack still hasn't given up on the idea of bringing Williams back. Lack is also in no rush to decide, according to executives close to NBC News who were not authorized to speak publicly.

As NBC News president in the 1990s, Lack groomed Williams to be the successor to Tom Brokaw and remains close friends with him.

"If there is a path back, he is going to want to find it," one of the executives said.

NBC declined to comment.

The chatter among members of the TV news industry — many of whom were in Washington, D.C., this weekend for the annual White House Correspondents' Assn. dinner — was that it was difficult to see that path. "If there was, don't you think we'd be hearing about it by now?" an NBC News veteran said.

One possible scenario is that Lack vouches for Williams because of their long relationship, puts him back in the anchor chair but strips him of his managing editor title. Lack would then assure the public that he would keep a close watch on Williams. However, no one is betting on that happening.

Lack does have to be mindful of his bosses at NBC parent Comcast Corp., who have little patience for sustained bad news and are not afraid to cut their losses. Comcast demonstrated that last week when the cable giant decided to kill its proposed $54-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable amid heavy criticism from consumer advocates.

However, there is no truth to reports that suggested NBC wanted to get the Williams issue resolved before upfront ad sales for the 2015-16 season begin next week, people in the industry said.

The Times echoes what FTVLive has said in the past, there is not a lot of support for Williams from the rank and file and that those same people really like Lester Holt. 

Stay tuned....