NBC News’ PR pro helped explain ‘Nightly News’ fire alarm

Brian Williams hit Twitter’s trending topics on Tuesday evening when a fire alarm sounded during the live broadcast of ‘Nightly News.’ Watch the video and see how NBC News’ PR team helped out.

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As the NBC “Nightly News” anchor opened Tuesday’s newscast with a segment about American Airlines’ bankruptcy, the fire alarm in the studio went off.

How did the newsman—who was once a volunteer firefighter and helped snuff out a blaze in Manhattan three years ago—react to the alarm?

First, he tossed it over to NBC’s Washington, D.C., bureau, but when that segment was over the fire alarm was still moaning—and it continued through most of the program.

“Williams kept his cool, offered an easy chuckle and assured viewers that it was just an alarm and there was no danger,” writes Al Tompkins on Poynter.org. “Surely the problem would go away. It didn’t.”

The blaring alarm—complete with a recorded announcement—quickly became a hot topic in social media. On Twitter, Williams received accolades for “redefining professionalism.”

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