Annual Richard Salant Lecture

Category: Speakers & Lecture Series

 An Evening With Brian Williams and Distinguished Guests:

The Election and the Next Four Years

Each year the New Canaan Library hosts a major lecture in honor of former CBS News President, Richard Salant, with a focus on guest speakers in the world of media.  Past speakers have included Tom Brokaw, Connie Chung, Walter Cronkite, Scott Pelley, Dan Rather, Cokie Roberts, Leslie Stahl, and Brian Williams. 

This year's Richard Salant Lecture on November 18th at 6:00 PM at the New Canaan High School Auditorium will have a new format, given the 2012 election. It will be a panel discussion moderated by Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News and the primetime newsmagazine Rock Center with Brian Williams.   

The panel will include David Gergen, CNN political analyst; Peter Goldmark, noted advocate for social causes; and Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe

The panel will consider the 2012 election in retrospect, providing insight on the outcome and the implications going forward for our political system and our country.  

Brian Williams took over as anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News in 2004. Since then, he has strengthened the broadcast's position as the most-watched newscast in all of television and has become the most highly decorated evening news anchor of the modern era.  He has received eleven Edward R. Murrow Awards, twelve Emmy Awards, the duPont-Columbia University Award, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and the industry’s highest honor, the George Foster Peabody Award. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.   

Williams began his broadcasting career in 1981 at KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kan. He worked at several local stations in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City before joining NBC News in 1993. He became NBC’s chief White House correspondent and then anchor and managing editor of The News With Brian Williamson MSNBC and CNBC. In 2011, NBC News launched Rock Center with Brian Williams, the network’s first new primetime newsmagazine in nearly two decades. 

David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has served as an adviser to four U.S. presidents:  Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. He wrote about those experiences in his New York Times best-seller, “Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton” (Simon & Schuster, 2001).  He is a professor of public service and Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and is currently at work on a new book about renewing America's political culture.


Peter C. Goldmark, Jr. is a noted environmentalist and advocate for social causes who has led environmental, news media, philanthropic,  and   governmental organizations. Goldmark was a director of the Evironmental Defense Fund's climate and air program, chairman and CEO of theInternational Herald Tribune, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and budget director for the State of New York. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. 

Joe Scarborough is the host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Previously, Joe hosted Scarborough Country on MSNBC, a primetime news show. In addition to his career in television Scarborough is also the author of the New York Times bestseller “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise.” Prior to his career in television, Joe was the publisher and editor of the award-winning newspaper The Florida Sun.  Joe served as a member of Congress from 1994-2001. While in office, he was a member of the Judiciary, Armed Services, Oversight and National Security committees.  

Clockwise from top left: Brian Williams, David Gergen,
Joe Scarborough, and Peter C. Goldmark, Jr.