NBC News announced today that Lester Holt has been named principal anchor of “Dateline NBC.” Launched in 1992, the signature primetime broadcast, best known for its high-quality reporting, investigative features, breaking news and newsmaker profiles, is celebrating 20 years this season. The announcement was made today by NBC News President Steve Capus and is effective Friday, September 23, 2011.
In his new position, Holt will anchor the award-winning production of “Dateline,” while continuing to report as a correspondent. Kicking off its 20th season on Friday, September 23 at 9pm ET, he is joined by the newsmagazine’s esteemed correspondents Chris Hansen, Hoda Kotb, Josh Mankiewicz, Keith Morrison and Dennis Murphy.
“One of the hardest working men on television, we are so pleased that Lester has added ‘Dateline’ to his portfolio,” said Capus. “Lester joins an impressive lineage of reporters who have graced the anchor desk over the past 20 years and we’re really excited to watch as he makes his mark on the award-winning newsmagazine as it continues to tell great stories.”
A staple at NBC News, Holt is also the weekend anchor for “NBC Nightly News” and the co-anchor of the weekend edition of “TODAY.” In addition, he serves as fill-in anchor and correspondent for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “TODAY.”
He has reported from the Kuwait/Iraqi border as US forces prepared to launch their invasion of Iraq, the front lines in Lebanon on the war between Israel and Hezbollah, and from London on the terror threat to U.S. bound-airliners from the UK. Holt also traveled to Haiti where he reported on the immediate aftermath and response to the devastating earthquake and he was on the streets of Cairo covering the political and civil unrest in Egypt. More recently, Holt traveled overseas to cover the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan, and he reported on violence in Chicago schools and the recession for "Dateline."
Before being named co-anchor of the weekend edition of "TODAY," he anchored "Lester Holt Live," and served as the lead anchor for daytime news and breaking coverage on MSNBC where he reported on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Decision 2000. Holt came to MSNBC from WBBM-TV in Chicago, where he spent 14 years. He has contributed to the CBS News broadcast "48 Hours," earning a 1990 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award for his work on "48 Hours: No Place Like Home." In 2010, Holt was part of the “TODAY” anchor team that won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program.
Prior to NBC News, Holt worked as a reporter at WCBS-TV in New York City from 1981-82. In 1982 he transferred to sister station KCBS-TV (then KNXT) in Los Angeles as a reporter and weekend anchor and returned to WCBS-TV a year later as a reporter and weekend anchor.
Holt studied government at California State University in Sacramento. He resides in New York City with his wife.