You're as sick of hearing about Brian Williams as I am. However, I think I've found some solutions. Some of them are so simple, I'd be surprised if they weren't in the works already.
Turns out Williams, the sad one-liner in so many recent jokes (and a guy who made the ultimate mistake of making up military stories), may have actually conjured up more news than thought earlier. With these disclosures, he is simply finished with the official news business. But that doesn't mean he's done! He can have a bright future, one with relevance and mission, if he just takes a risk and goes in another, unexpected direction.
1. Do The News On Netflix: The company that hired the talent-challenged Chelsea Handler to do a talk show (!) can stream a Williams newscast without any blowback. And no one has to worry about pesky advertisers, or ratings. It is a win for everyone.
2. Stand-Up: Williams has been a hit on every talk show from The View to Stewart; he's proven himself a very funny man. Get a few tips from comic pals--and let's see that easygoing humor on a stage near you. (Kind of like what Conan did after his loud firing....but, please, without PeeWee Herman.)
3. Commercial Spots: If Tebow can make fun of his contract-free status on a T Mobile ad, why can't Williams (whose "QScore" is higher than Whoopi's, surely) "straight man" it up and be a punch line that makes beaucoup cash.
4. Co-hosting with Olbermann: This one may sound like a joke, but it comes with merits. Sports stars from Keith O to Marv A have made horrible errors and come back to their business only slightly scathed. Why can't ESPN take on Williams, a big football fan, for color commentary or at the very least, a newsy take on the day's biggest controversy!
5. Radio Raconteur/Talk Show Host: I am not thinking he should go the "Katie" route -- talk a good game and end up buried at Yahoo! -- because a TV talk show (and a gig at Yahoo! too) is too difficult to navigate. I'm thinking more a regular figure on the the satellite airwaves, the news with a twist, and hopefully replace the cliche-driven Gregg "Opie" Hughes.
6. The Very Williams Variety Hour: After Neil Patrick Harris proves the format works in his upcoming series (on NBC, no less) Brian can entertain us in the mode of Ed Sullivan, introducing his favorite acts and making sure his face is on our screen once a week! Not on NBC, of course.
7. A Tell-All "Non-Fiction" Book (quotes mine): It's a natural and I am sure he's already being courted. Tell us the truth -- about Tom Brokaw! Or, just like OJ Simpson's unctuous "If I Did It..." from last decade, Williams can juicily talk about what happened - for real - out in the field. Or not. The terrific thing about books is it's up to him to decide the truth. Or as Armistead Maupin once told me: "The best nonfiction writers are the best at making things up." I suppose he could do a book about pathological fibbing.
Here is a man who has been in our living rooms for more than 15 years. There is no reason to kill him off like some prima donna demanding more cash for a hit sitcom. There are many avenues on the Williams trail right back to esteemed notoriety. The guy just has to decide, like so many of us in our later years, how to make a living and stay relevant in the second act.
After all, chapter two could be a lot more embellished--and soon no one will care.