Father and son duo Lester Holt and Stefan Holt made history Friday on NBC 5, when they teamed up for a special post-Thanksgiving newscast … together!
“I’m a little nervous to be honest,” longtime newsman Lester Holt said earlier this week. “I have to be on my A-Game. He’s pretty good. I’ve been watching him.”
Stefan Holt, 25, joined NBC 5 as a morning show anchor in 2011, and he’s been building his family in Chicago ever since. Stefan was married to his college sweetheart, Morgan, in July, and the newlyweds invited Lester and wife Carol to fly in from New York City and spend Thanksgiving in Chicago.
"It's the first time we're doing Thanksgiving dinner," Stefan said of he and wife Morgan. "We're going to give it a try."
While Lester and Stefan were deciding on the menu -- turkey, cornbread, mom's cranberry chutney -- Lester had an idea.
“I asked him: You’re not working on Thanksgiving are you?” Lester said. “He said, ‘Actually I am. I said, if you guys are short, if Daniella Guzman wants the day off, I can fill in.’”
Lester said he was joking, but Stefan suggested that maybe his dad could help out on the noon show the day after.
“He's the hardest working man in television and he was looking for an excuse to work,” Stefan said.
Lester Holt, of course, made his own anchor mark here in Chicago when he owned the desk at WBBM-TV for 14 years. In 2000, Lester joined MSNBC and in 2003 he began hosting the Weekend Today Show. He also anchors the Weekend Nightly News for NBC, as well as leading the news magazine program Dateline.
Somehow, Lester knew that Stefan would someday follow in his footsteps.
“I have a picture of Stefan sitting at the desk at WBBM from right around the time I started as an anchor there,” he said in his familiar baritone. “Stefan was up there, with his arms crossed, ready to go. At 2 ½ years old he already had the look.”
Lester has been following with great interest how Stefan’s career in Chicago developed. He uses a device called Slingbox that allows him to record Stefan’s morning show broadcasts and watch them on his computer or smart phone at 30 Rock.
“I’m actually very proud,” he said.
The Friday midday broadcast marked the first time the tandem has anchored together on the same set. The whole station was buzzing.
“We are excited to pair Lester and Stefan together!” said Vice President of News and Station Manager Frank Whittaker. “Lester spent many years here in Chicago, and is well-known to Chicago viewers. It’s a real treat to bring him back to co-anchor with Stefan.“
Lester, always a good sport, did have one request from NBC. Considering he worked on his day off.
"I’m asking for that one vacation day back," he said.