The New York Times profiles Doug Williams ’13 and his rise in the television industry

The July 20 article highlights the Elon graduate’s on-air position with SportsNet New York and his close relationship with his prominent father, MSNBC host Brian Williams.

There’s an amusing revelation shared in the recent New York Times feature highlighting Elon alumnus Doug Williams ’13 and his ascent in the sports television industry.

With his father at his side, Doug Williams ’13 talks with members of Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher’s “Journalism in a Free Society” class in March. During the classroom visit, Williams discussed a number of topics, including the value of Elon’s student media organizations, his own internship experiences, and the benefits of seeking out difficult courses.
As the anchor of SportsNet New York’s nightly highlight show, Williams faces stiff competition for viewers during his time slot, the most prominent of which is MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour” program, hosted by his father, Brian Williams. It’s a coincidence the father and son often joke about.

The July 20 article, titled “Another Williams Takes His Turn Before the Camera, at SNY,” covers a variety of other topics relating to the younger Williams, charting his career path to New York – by way of Elon University – and the challenges he’s faced in his young career.   

The feature chronicles Williams affinity for sports, especially baseball, as a child and how that interest turned to broadcasting once he realized he didn’t have the makings of a big-league pitcher.

Brian Williams addresses a luncheon crowd on March 31 in the renovated Jane and Brian Williams Studio.
​Doug Williams didn’t shy away from discussing the perception – and misconception – that he only landed his TV role because of his famous last name. It’s a topic he also discussed at length with Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher’s “Journalism in a Free Society” class in March.

“I kind of go into a lot of situations assuming that people have assumptions about me and I want to destroy those,” he said in the Times interview. “I want people to know that I’m here for genuine reasons. In my opinion, if you keep watching you’ll find out, I think, I’m where I should be.”

Doug Willliams and his parents, Brian and Jane Wiliams, visited Elon this spring as part of the March 31 dedication ceremonies for the new and renovated facilities of the School of Communications. The school’s state-of-the-art studio is named in recognition of the Williams family.