Brian Williams knows he's dead

For a brief moment earlier this week, it looked as though Williams might have found a champion in Andrew Lack, the newly returned chief of NBC News. According to a blind-sourced story in the Daily News, Lack was hoping to reseat his old friend Williams in the network’s anchor chair. But whoever launched that trial balloon—presumably a Williams loyalist—must have been ducking for cover the next day when the Hollywood Reporter and the New York Post sent high-velocity rounds through the Daily News item with a blind-sourced story of its own. “They want Brian to resign,” an anonymous source told the Post. “If they have to fire him, they can’t control him.” That came just days after the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi broke news of the DC bureau’s “strong opposition” to Williams returning to the anchor chair…

The leaks coming from NBC News weren’t intended for Brian Williams as much as they were for his lawyer, Robert Barnett, who officiates at both hirings and firings as power players make their entrances and departures at media jobs in Washington and New York. The message appears to have been, ‘It’s up to you, Bob, how much more injury we do to your client’s reputation. Be a smart counselor and take the money we’ll offer in a couple weeks; we have no interest in Brian’s rehab.’

In the end, there wasn’t any reason to fight for BriWi. Lester Holt seems to be doing fine, and there appear to be all too many people within NBC happy to see Williams gone. (Rule of thumb for all laborers: Most of the people you work with would be happy to see you go.)

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