Lester Holt is being poised to permanently take over Brian Williams‘ coveted anchor gig on NBC Nightly News — but he allegedly wants a $10 million payday to do so.
According to a new report, the 56-year-old journalist’s agent is currently negotiating a $10 million per year salary with the network for Lester. This is the same amount Brian, also 56, was paid before he was suspended from the program in February for embellishing past reports on the Iraq War in 2003 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Brian and Lester on NBC Nightly News in 2009.
“There’s a lot of drama at NBC News,” a source told Page Six. “Lester’s team feels that if he gets half of what [Brian] was making, the message to him and the newsroom is he’s half the anchor Brian was.”
Lester was previously being paid about $4 million per year for his role as the Nightly News weekend anchor before taking over Brian’s gig during the reporter’s extended absence from the show.
Earlier this week, it was revealed Lester is in talks with the network to replace Brian on the program. Though a final decision about bringing the father-of-two back from his suspension has not yet been made, NBC execs allegedly hope to keep the veteran journalist at the network in some capacity. However, sources expect he will leave if Lester is asked to take over as the new anchor of Nightly News.