Lester Don Holt, Jr., is an American journalist. He anchors the weekday edition of NBC Nightly News. He is also the anchor for Dateline NBC. On February 9, 2015, he became the interim weeknight NBC Nightly News anchor, filling in for suspended anchor and managing editor Brian Williams. On June 18, 2015, he was made the permanent anchor of NBC Nightly News after NBC decided to keep Brian Williams as MSNBC breaking news anchor and reporter and fill-in NBC News breaking news anchor and reporter... (wikipedia)
I'll co-host 'TODAY' from Los Angeles Saturday morning and then make my way up to Merced for that evening's graduation ceremony. I'm still touching up my remarks, but my challenge to the Class of 2010 will be to break through the deafening and too often negative echo chamber of the digital era and become critical and independent thinkers.
Everyone knows I'm black. I am who I am. This is the person that Lester Sr. and June Holt raised, and I make no apology for it. At the same time, I'm never going to pull a race card to get what I want. You can't have it both ways.
As Americans, we rightfully place tremendous value on having a free and independent press. Our role as journalists is to give voice to the voiceless, and hold our leaders and institutions accountable. But the circle is only completed when that information is consumed by a free-thinking and engaged audience.
What I've come to know is that in life, it's not always the questions we ask, but rather our ability to hear the answers that truly enriches our understanding. Never, never stop learning.
As a 13, - 14-year-old kid, I'd sit on my bed with a tape recorder and a newspaper. I would do my own newscast. I would practice my diction.
The one thing I don't consume during 'Today' - which surprises many people - is coffee. I find that a lot of water helps wake me up, without the buzz. I love coffee, but usually reserve a double espresso as an afternoon pick-me-up before settling in to do the weekend 'Nightly News.'
On more than one occasion, the camera has cut to me after a break as I'm still trying to swallow the last bite of cookie. Those of you who have thought to yourselves, 'That guy talks like he has marbles in his mouth,' should know that they are not marbles, but oatmeal cookies.
The issues of the day have never seemed more complicated, and yet the conversations over how to solve them increasingly resemble cars passing down a divided highway. Whizzing by without a glance.
When we run out of them upstairs, I've been known to appropriate some from our greenroom, pocketing a few with one hand as I smile and greet our guests with the other. One time, Dave Zinczenko of 'Eat this, Not That!' fame, busted me in the act. The cookies apparently fall in the 'not that' category. I made a note of it.
Not to get too deep on shaving my mustache, but it was kind of symbolic of, 'This is a moment of liberation, a chance to reinvent yourself.' That's kind of what I did.