Beloved news anchor Lester Holt has been the face of NBC Nightly News since 2015. Earlier this year, one tabloid speculated NBC wanted to replace Holt with a younger, more attractive news anchor in order to boost the show’s ratings. Gossip Cop investigates the report.
Is Lester Holt Being Pushed Out?
NBC is ready to give Lester Holt the boot, according to a late February article from the National Enquirer. Their main reasoning is that Holt’s news program consistently comes in behind ABC’s World News Tonight With David Muir. “Few people have the integrity and journalistic pedigree of Lester, but in today’s environment – where everything is driven by numbers and figures rather than gravitas – the big bosses want to try something new,” an unnamed source spilled to the outlet.
“NBC honchos have been told they need to switch things up and find someone who can slay ABC in the ratings,” the insider continued, pointing out World News Tonight averages an audience of 9 million people a night while Holt’s audience averages out to 8 million. The outlet points out NBC recently hired Muir’s fill-in anchor Tom Llamas, alleging that the newbie was promised Holt’s chair. “Tom is heading to NBC to take over for Lester. Tom is what the future of TV looks like. He’s charming, has a great presenting style and he’s cute.”
The report gives Holt the benefit of the doubt, saying he could gracefully step aside and into a producer position. “The TV business is rough. It’s a visual medium, and Lester can’t compete with Tom who is younger and has great viewer appeal.” the insider said before speculating the network would never let Holt fully go. They would never let someone of his caliber go, so most expect him to assume a new executing role.”
Rivalry Could Be There But Contracts Say Differently
Holt is not going anywhere. In April, the trusted news anchor signed a four-year deal to stay on the network and even added the title ‘Managing Editor’ to his job description. While it could be true that there could be a rivalry between Tom Llamas and Holt, this new contract thwarts any speculation that an anchor shakeup is imminent. I
n March, Gossip Cop busted a similar story from the Enquirer claiming CNN anchor and Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer was at risk of losing his job due to low ratings and sex appeal. Of course, the show’s official ratings contradicted the report. This is just more of the same nonsense.