NBC Nightly News: The Transition from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams

I remember when I first hear about Tom Brokaw leaving the anchor chair of NBC Nightly News. Brian Williams had been in the wings waiting for years. He had his own show on MSNBC, “The News With Brian Williams,” but he had always wanted Nightly.And Tom couldn’t stay there forever.

As a marketer, the transition from Brokaw to Brian wasn’t going to be easy. Tom Brokaw was a broadcast news legend and his ratings were strong. How could we keep Brokaw’s audience and at the sametime introduce the program to new group of viewers? Whatever we did, it had to be done right. One wrong move and NBC could lose the lead to ABC or CBS, and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get it back.

Our goals for the transition from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams were simple:

  1. stay #1 in the ratings
  2. keep Brokaw’s audience
  3. introduce the program to new viewers in younger target demos
  4. raise awareness of Brian Williams

To accomplish these goals, the NBC News Marketing group, called The NBC Agency at the time, executed the following tactics:

Co-Branded Promos:

Increased Guest Hosting:

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