Where in the world has Brian Williams been this week? After anchoring Nightly News on Monday, we haven't seen hide nor hair of him. What happened to him? It certainly seems odd that he anchored the broadcast for one night and then disappeared. Brian is on what can best be described as a "voluntary ratings leave". When Brian and NBC News President Steve Capus saw Scott Pelley's ratings for Monday (his first night anchoring the CBS Evening News) they got scared and immediately implemented Plan B. Under that plan, Brian takes a powder and lets Lester Holt anchor for the rest of the week. That way, if CBS gains on NBC in the ratings (or beats them outright), Brian and Capus can claim that the CBS victory is meaningless because it came against a substitute anchor, not against Brian. Furthermore, we can assume that Brian and Capus submitted their Tuesday through Friday broadcasts to the Nielsen ratings service intentionally misspelled as "Nitely News". That's a common tactic they use whenever they expect Nightly News to have lower-than-desired ratings. Nielsen counts the "Nitely News" broadcasts in a separate category from Nightly News, so the lower-rated broadcasts don't detract from the higher-rated (correctly spelled) broadcasts. It's just a way of manipulating the ratings and deceiving Nielsen, the viewers and the advertisers so NBC can charge higher ad rates based on artificially inflated ratings even when the actual ratings decline. That's what our friend Brian Williams has been up to. That's how things work at NBC News. It's all about the ratings. Always.
But don't worry, Brian will be back on Monday. After all, he can't hide from Scott Pelley forever.