For Sactown, I wrote the first–and as far as I know, the only–full-access profile of Lester Holt since his permanent installation as the anchor of NBC Nightly News. From Sacramento to Rockefeller Center, this one’s got the goods–NBC News boss Deborah Turness, media insider Brian Stelter, a whole lotta Holts, new details on the handoff to Holt from Brian Williams, and, in one of my favorite exchanges, some real talk from Andrea Mitchell:
As the meeting proceeds, presidential politics creeps higher in priority: Fox News would announce the participants in the first Republican presidential debate in a few hours, and Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, stands in the doorway behind Holt mulling over rampant speculation that Joe Biden might run for the White House.
“I don’t know,” Mitchell says. “I change my mind every minute, which is what’s going on with him.”
“Is there any more money out there for him?” Holt asks.
The ensuing discussion leads to nothing conclusive—at least not as conclusive as the story that Holt’s former weekend Today colleague Jenna Wolfe has brought to the meeting: a scientific study showing how office temperatures historically favor men’s metabolic rates over women’s.
“We’re not nuts,” Wolfe says over chuckles and murmurs. “It’s actually freezing. Fashion tells [women] that we have to wear these short sleeves. Lester’s wearing 16 layers, so of course he’s like [sweating] over here, and we’re literally burning calories over here trying to stay alive because we’re so cold.”
Holt grins and shrugs incredulously. “This sounds personal to me,” he jokes.
“The Meet the Press studio is freezing!” Mitchell says. “Like a meat locker.”
Anyway, the rest is here. I really love this piece.
(Photo by Jeremy Sykes for Sactown)