MEDIA
02/12/2015 01:57 pm ET Updated Feb 12, 2015

Can Brian Williams' Career Recover After Six-Month Suspension?

Now that "NBC Nightly News" anchor and managing editor Brian Williams has been suspended for six months without pay following an admission that he lied about his helicopter coming under fire in Iraq, the question is: Can his already-tainted reputation survive the time off the air?

Betsy West, former vice president of CBS News, told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski on Wednesday that while it's too soon to tell what will happen after the six months, the issue for NBC is both ethical and financial.

"NBC … is going to be looking at how damaged [Williams] is and whether or not anything else is out there that’s going to damage him," West said. "And whether or not they’re damaged by not having him around and can they rebuild without him?"

HuffPost's senior media reporter Michael Calderone wasn't as reticent to predict the outcome of Williams' career.

"It's highly unlikely he’s ever back in the 'Nightly News' anchor desk," Calderone said.

If Lester Holt, who is filling in during the suspension, or whomever eventually replaces Williams is able to keep NBC's ratings up, Calderone predicts the network won't bring Williams back.

"I think a lot of things would have to not work and then also get this public support, this management support, in order to get him back in there," he said. "So it’s a really steep climb."

Watch the full segment on the Jon Stewart stepping down and Brian Williams being suspended.

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