CNBC host Shepard Smith will fill in for Lester Holt of “NBC Nightly News” on Friday night, the network confirmed on Thursday. 

News of the network’s plans to have Smith fill in for Holt was first reported by CNN on Wednesday evening. 

Smith joined NBCUniversal in June of 2020 after spending years as an anchor and reporter at Fox News, where he hosted “The Fox Report with Shepard Smith” from 1999 to 2013 and became managing editor of the network’s breaking news division in 2013. 


Smith currently hosts “The News with Shepard Smith” on CNBC at 7 p.m. on weeknights.

NBC has a rotating cast of anchors and reporters it regularly uses to fill in on “Nightly News,” including Savana Guthrie, Kate Snow and Peter Alexander. Holt became the anchor of the network’s flagship evening newscast in 2015.

Friday will be the first time Smith has served in the anchor chair. 

Holt conducted a widely watched interview this week with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky following Zelensky’s address to Congress on Wednesday, during which he pleaded for help from the United States as he fights off an invasion from Russia. 

“Nobody knows whether it may have already started and what is the possibility of this war, in case Ukraine will fall,” Zelensky told Holt. “It’s very hard to say and we’ve seen this, 80 years ago when the Second World War has started, and there were similar tragedies in history, nobody would predict when the full scale war would start and who would put an end to it. In this case we have the whole civilization at stake.” 

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