Anzio Williams, vice president of news at NBC10 and Telemundo62, is leaving the station after eight years to take a newly created job where he’ll “be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy that will make diversity and inclusion issues a top priority” for NBC-owned stations, NBCUniversal announced Monday.
“It’s something that I raised my hand for and thought it was a good next step for me to do some of the things I’ve been able to do here in Philadelphia, and do it on a bigger scale,” said Williams in an interview Monday afternoon. As senior vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion, he’ll report to Valari Staab, the president of NBC Universal Owned Stations. (Earlier in her career, Staab was the director of creative services and director of marketing and research at Philadelphia’s 6ABC.)
“In today’s time, there’s a need. I think a lot of companies [are] … addressing the need for equity and inclusiveness” in their workplaces and culture, he said.
NBC10 had been the only NBC-owned station with both a Black general manager, Ric Harris, and a Black vice president of news, Williams said. “That is the challenge for the industry … how do we have newsrooms representative of the communities that we serve? I would say that’s what I’m most proud of, about the change we made in Philadelphia here, on the Telemundo side and the NBC side, making sure we’re representative in front of the cameras, and behind the cameras, and in every position and in every role.”
Williams' successor hasn’t yet been chosen. In the interim, his newsroom duties will fall to NBC10 assistant news director Kathy Gerrow and Telemundo62 assistant news director Ana Hernández.
One thing Williams has seen as his responsibility is “reaching out and grabbing young journalists and helping them, pulling them up, whether they look like me or not,” he said. When Williams was in college, someone did the same for him. Drew Berry, an “African American male who was news director” at WCAU — then a CBS station, now NBC10 — told him he’d be a news director someday. Berry’s daughter, Andrea Berry, is now an executive producer at NBC10.
“I’m this mushy guy. Sometimes I see her leading the meetings … and I almost want to cry,” said Williams, who said he’s proud of having helped others, “seven or eight people who have worked under me, who are now leaders of newsrooms across the country.”
Williams made a little news of his own not long after joining NBC10 when he ended the station’s helicopter-sharing agreement with CBS 3 and Fox29 and NBC10. “That was the competitiveness in me,” he said, though he’s since embraced some partnerships, including projects with The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Tribune, and WHYY.
“I’ve always believed that [with] competition between journalists, the viewers were the winners. But I also believe that sharing at the right times … viewers can still be the winners,” he said.
Before coming to Philadelphia, Williams served as news director at KCRA in Sacramento and at WDSU in New Orleans, where he oversaw coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Before that, he’d been an assistant news director at NBC affiliates in Orlando and in Charlotte, N.C.