Tom Brokaw retires, makes way for Brian Williams on "NBC Nightly News"

(National-NBC) Dec. 2, 2004 - "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw said good-bye Wednesday night with these simple words, "That's Nightly News for this Wednesday night. I'm Tom Brokaw. You'll see Brian Williams here tomorrow night, and I'll see you along the way."

The 64-year-old Brokaw, who spent more than two decades at the helm of Nightly News, thanked his co-workers and America for giving him the opportunity of a life time, "And, it is that spirit that I say thanks for all that I have learned from you. That has been my richest reward"

Brokaw left the studio, offering a handshake and a nod to Williams, "It's all yours kid."

To his staffers Brokaw said a new era is about to begin, "It's your place now, as it always has been." The farewell topped off an emotional day of celebration and commemoration.

Brokaw has signed off, but he is not saying good-bye to news. While Williams takes over as anchor, Brokaw will continue to cover politics for NBC News and to work on documentaries.

Williams ushers in a new era of major broadcast anchors starting Thursday night.

posted 9:50am by Chris Rees