“Though it took longer than I would have recommended, NBC ultimately took control of the situation and avoided a crushing blow to its brand,” says Glenn Selig, a crisis communications expert and founder of The Publicity Agency. “The ratings have remained steady and I suspect the worst is over for NBC News.”
Brian Williams gave an interview to TODAY’s Matt Lauer that aired today.
Was Williams’s apology convincing? Were the excuses valid? Did Lauer, a colleague of Williams at NBC, ask tough enough questions?
Brian Williams tells his side to Matt Lauer
“The awkwardness seemed obvious. And it is unusual for the network to be at the center of its own story and cover it,” says Selig, who is a former TV news anchor and reporter. “Despite all that I though Lauer did quite well. Which helps NBC News. Brian Williams appeared ill at ease which is good for NBC the brand. Matt, I thought, was tough on him.”
NBC announced yesterday that Brian Williams will continue his employment with the network, but in a far less prominent role on MSNBC. Going from an audience that averages over seven million viewers, to roughly 300 thousand viewers, Selig believes, allows NBC to give Williams a chance to restore his credibility.
Williams was suspended nearly six months ago after being caught exaggerating a war story while appearing on a late night talk show.
“NBC knows that Americans are very forgiving people. We love the redemption story, and it doesn’t hurt that Brian Williams, before this debacle, was well-liked by the public.”
While the worst of the crisis seems to be behind NBC, Williams is facing an uphill battle, but certainly one that can be overcome, says Selig.
“Our country is full of great comeback stories, and clearly he hopes to be one… for real!”
SOURCE: The Publicity Agency
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