Will it be "'NBC Nightly News' with Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd" or "'NBC Nightly News' with Roger Mudd and Tom Brokaw"?
Yes, it will.
When co-anchors Brokaw and Mudd take over the "Nightly News" from John Chancellor next April, the billing will rotate depending upon which man has the lead story that night. If Mudd has the lead story in Washington, then Brokaw will get first mention from the announcer, and Mudd would open the newscast.
So it would be, "This is 'NBC Nightly News' with Tom Brokaw in New York and Roger Mudd in Washington" and then Mudd might say, "The Supreme Court today blah blah blah blah," which is exactly what Mudd did say yesterday in explaining this deft and mutually equitable balancing act.
"We're old friends," Mudd said, and the agreement was reached "so we don't have to worry about" the billing. "So you can get rid of that burr under the saddle right away." Mudd confirmed, as previously reported, that he did waive a cluse in his contract that had guaranteed his eventualy sole anchorship of the "Nightly News" -- "you bet I waived it, I was delighted to waive it" -- but denied that it took vast applications of money to get him to do it.
"No money at all," said Mudd. "I volunteered to do it. I told them, 'You can't lose Brokaw, he's tremendous,' and if this is what it takes to keep him, I'll do it." As for the dual anchor arrangement, Mudd -- who left CBS News last year when passed over for anchordom in favor of Dan Rather -- said, "I'm delighted. I get to stay here and do what I want to do. I never wanted to go to New York anyway."
Earlier in the day, at a press conference at New York's 21 Club, Brokaw recalled the time Mudd had come over to his house and entertained Brokaw's three daughters by putting a paper napkin over his head and wiggling his ears. "It was then I decided that this was a man with whom I would like to work," Brokaw said.