Brian Williams

Who: The robotic, massively-chinned newsman has been the anchor of the NBC Nightly News since 2004.

Backstory: Williams' first experience working at the White House was as a paid intern-he took the job after dropping out of college. (He attended George Washington and Catholic University of America but didn't graduate from either.) After his internship, Williams worked at the National Association of Broadcasters, which led to a small-time TV gig in Pittsburg, Kansas, where he earned a whopping $174 a week. Following stints in DC and Philadelphia, Williams moved to New York in the late 1980s as a correspondent for WCBS; in 1993, he went national when he joined NBC News. A year after joining the Peacock network, he returned to the place his career began, as chief White House correspondent. Two years later, he was tapped to host The News with Brian Williams on MSNBC. In 2002, NBC execs started planning for Tom Brokaw's eventual retirement. Williams was picked as his replacement and on December 2, 2004, he became the seventh anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News. It's a job that reportedly pays him $10 million a year.

Of note: Although the network news audience is rapidly dwindling—is anyone even home at 6:30pm to watch the news?—the competition between the Big Three remains fierce. After taking over the anchor chair in 2004, Williams enjoyed ratings dominance until February 2007 when, for the first time, he slipped into second place behind ABC's Charles Gibson. (The ratings war doesn't concern Katie Couric much; she sits at the back of the pack.) Williams's tumble led NBC news president Steve Capus to bring in a new executive producer to run the program. Since then—and since Gibson stepped down at ABC and was replaced by Diane Sawyer—Williams has returned to first place.

Trophy case: Williams is the winner of 10 Emmys and a Peabody. More importantly, he was named "Father of the Year' by the National Father's Day Committee in 1996.

Personal: Williams married former TV producer Jane Stoddard in 1986. They have two children—Allison and Douglas—and live in a farmhouse in New Canaan, CT. They also have an apartment in Midtown and a vacation home on Block Island.

True story: Williams served as a volunteer fireman in Middletown, NJ from the age of 17 until his mid-twenties.



Vital Stats

Full Name: Brian Douglas Williams
Date of Birth: 05/05/1959
Place of Birth: Elmira, NY
High School: Mater Dei High School
Residence(s): New York (Midtown); New Canaan, CT; Block Island, RI
Filed Under: Media, News

[Photo via Getty]