Congratulations to Brian Williams on his fifth anniversary as anchor of NBC Nightly News. In that short period of time, Brian has managed to transform Nightly News from a serious and respected news broadcast to a quasi-reality show that devotes more than half its time to stories about cuddly animals, celebrities, weather, movies, terminally ill children (and the people who care for them), medal of honor winners and anything else that is of interest to Brian. Not to mention all the "news stories" about sponsors' products and other NBC Universal TV shows. Nightly News has become the ninth half-hour of Today. And then there are the "Making A Difference" segments. I would estimate that over the past five years, Nightly News has devoted over 2,000 minutes to these segments. That's about 35 hours worth of news time. And not one of those stories has ever contained any actual news. So keep up the good work, Brian. I can only imagine what Nightly News will look like in another five years. By that time, it will probably have merged with Access Hollywood and Extra (the shows that follow it in much of the country) to offer one big 90-minute celebrity-fest--anchored, of course, by Maria Menounos.
Now that Comcast is finalizing their purchase of NBC Universal, let's hope that NBC's new owners are serious about returning the NBC News division to its once-prominent place of respectability. In order to do that, Comcast will have to make some serious personnel changes, specifically with regard to the president of NBC News, the executive producer of Nightly News and the weekday anchor of Nightly News. But please--don't replace Brian with Maria Menounos. That was just a joke.