NEW YORK, June 24 (UPI) -- Lester Holt made history when he became the first African-American to independently anchor a nightly news program after becoming the permanent face of NBC Nightly News on Monday.
The program posted on Instagram announcing the decision, saying: "@LesterHoltNBC: "'As of tonight, this program has a new name, and I am honored to say a new anchor.'" #NBCNightlyNews."
The broadcaster mentioned how the two had a private exchange after Holt received the promotion. it turned out to be more about their friendship as opposed to just a verbal high-five.
The conversation, he says, was a long-time coming.
"We wished we could have talked earlier," Holt said. "We both said, 'Whatever's happened here, it's never been about us -- our friendship.' You could feel, it was this tension, like, 'Oh my goodness, I was feeling this way.' He's been so gracious during what's obviously been a difficult time -- expressing his support to me privately and publicly. I just let him know that I'm happy he remains with the organization. He says he's here to help me, whatever I need, and I deeply appreciate it."
Williams, who was once hailed "the most trusted voice in television," was released from the position after controversy sparked regarding suspicions he misconstrued events that occurred during the Iraq war.
Despite the controversy surrounding his friend, Holt continues to remain positive and enthusiastic about his new position.
"I never define my career by my race, but I think it's important that this broadcast all the broadcasts we do on this network reflects our audience," he said. "People should be able to turn on the TV and see people that look like them or someone they know."