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How Brian Williams Achieved a Net Worth of $40 Million

Brian Williams

Currently, Brian Williams is the chief news anchor for MSNBC. However, there are a lot of people out there who will be more familiar with him because of his decade-long stint as the news anchor of NBC Nightly News. In spite of Williams's demotion, sources still estimate his personal fortune to be around $40 million in the present time.

Net Worth$40 Million
NameBrian Douglas Williams
BornRidgewood, New Jersey
Birth DateMay 5, 1959
Source of WealthAmerican Journalist at NBC News
CountryUnited States

How Did Brian Williams Reach His Current Net Worth?

Williams was born in a village called Ridgewood, NJ, which is one of the numerous commuter towns that can be found in the New York metropolitan area. Family-wise, he has said that he comes from a "boisterous" family of Irish Catholics, with his mother being an amateur stage actress and his father being an executive vice president of the National Retail Merchants Association. Williams never developed the same interest in acting as his mother, but he did develop an interest in journalism, as shown by the fact that he was an editor for his high school newspaper.

Eventually, Williams went to a public community college called Brookdale Community College. From that point forward, he transferred not once but twice, with the first time being the Catholic University of America and the second time being George Washington University. However, Williams jumped at the chance to become an intern for the Carter administration in the White House, meaning that he never graduated from university. Something that he has called one of the great regrets of his life.

In any case, Williams went on to work for a CBS-affiliated channel in Pittsburg, KY. Soon enough, he managed to make further transitions to channels in the Washington, D.C. area, Philadelphia, and New York City. With this experience, Williams was able to secure a position at NBC in 1993 that provided him with two roles, with one being the chief White House correspondent and the other being the news anchor for Weekend Nightly News. By 1996, he had become the primary substitute for Tom Brokaw on The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, meaning that he was a natural choice to succeed said individual when he retired in December of 2004.

It was as the news anchor of NBC Nightly News that Williams managed to reach the height of his success. Unsurprisingly, much of this as because of his coverage of the news, with an excellent example being how he managed to win much praise for voicing his sense of frustration with the government's failure to provide adequate support in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2004, according to this. However, said coverage was by no means a one-time occurrence, which is why Williams can claim better numbers than his competitors on a regular basis as well as a total of 12 News & Documentary Emmy Awards during that period of time.

Unfortunately, Williams's incredible streak of success ran into a serious stumbling block when he misrepresented his experience with a helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In short, Williams claimed that a military helicopter that he had been traveling in was forced to land following a hit with an RPG. However, this turned out to be false because Williams's military helicopter had been traveling 30 minutes behind the one that had been hit, meaning that it had been forced to land because of a sandstorm rather than hostile action. Due to this incident, Williams's reputation took a major blow because of much-publicized criticism from the soldiers as well as a wide range of other parties, thus resulting in him being suspended from his position for a period of six months without pay.

With that said, while the incident was a major blow, it wasn't exactly fatal for Williams's career. For proof, look no further than the fact that he was back on-air as the chief news anchor for MSNBC by September of 2015. On the whole, there can be no doubt about the fact that Williams was demoted because of the incident, but there can also be no doubt about the fact that he remained one of the most prominent journalists in the United States in the aftermath. Since that time, Williams has continued to prove successful in his chosen career, as shown by the fact that he is once again beating his competitors with his show The 11th Hour with Brian Williams. Time will tell how Williams's career will continue to change in light of this performance.

Besides his involvement with various news programs, Williams has made other appearances in other contexts as well. For example, when 30 Rock was still being made, Williams made semi-regular appearances as a caricatured version of himself, which did much to combat his general impression of seriousness among his viewers. Likewise, Williams has shown up on many, many late-night talk shows, which he has managed to handle well for the most part. However, it should come as no surprise to learn that the bulk of Williams's personal fortune was built up through his career as a journalist. After all, he makes multiple millions of dollars on an annual basis for his work, though the exact numbers can see some variation because of the inherent uncertainty to such reports. In one version, Williams is said to have been making $8 million once he succeeded Tom Brokaw, which went up to $10 million in 2006 and then $13 million in 2014. With those numbers, it is no wonder that some sources estimate his personal fortune to be around $40 million in the present time.

Further Considerations

Summed up, it seems safe to say that Williams's net worth will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. The man is just 60, meaning that he can be expected to remain on the air for years and years to come so long as he is interested. Something that is particularly true because whatever else his faults, he is quite good at getting the numbers that can make or break a news program.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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