In his debut as the permanent anchor of "NBC Nightly News," Lester Holt thanked viewers for their loyalty and support for the program.
"Tonight, this program has a new name, and I'm honored to say, a new anchor," Holt, who had been subbing for Brian Williams since his predecessor's suspension in February, said at the end of Monday's show. "Your loyalty and viewership during this difficult time has been appreciated by all of us on this program."
NBC announced last week that Williams will not return to his job as "Nightly News" anchor more than four months after he was suspended for misrepresenting his experiences as a journalist, but will serve as a breaking news anchor at MSNBC.
Holt took over that position permanently. He is the first African-American to be the sole anchor of a network evening newscast.
Holt thanked Williams during Monday's broadcast "for his kind words of support."
Earlier in the day, Holt received a flurry of congratulations from his colleagues and his family as he was getting ready take over the "Nightly" anchor chair.
He was surprised by his wife and two sons on NBC's "Today" show as they all celebrated his achievements and his 15 years at NBC.
Even NBC Chicago’s Stefan Holt appeared live from Chicago on the show to congratulate his father.
“So happy for you dad, so proud and excited for this new opportunity,” he said.
“It’s funny looking at Stefan because if you had asked my which Holt would someday be a network news anchor of a nightly show I would have thought Stefan,” Lester Holt replied.
Holt’s family said they’re excited to have him home on the weekends now and they’re looking forward to the new journey.
“What we do sometimes takes a lot of time from family, we’ve got to answer that bell and they’ve been by me, my strength and my rock and they’ve been very supportive in this period of uncertainty,” he said.
This TV station is owned by parent company NBCUniversal.
Photo Credit: NBC