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Snow Delays Vancouver-bound Brian Williams

Snow has already paralyzed Washington D.C. And now inclement weather in New York has grounded NBC Nightly News personnel attempting to get to Vancouver for the XXI Olympic Winter Games.

The plan was to have Brian Williams leave after the broadcast tonight (Feb. 10) in time to be on the air from Vancouver for Thursday’s Nightly News.

But with snow still coming down and many flights out of New York already grounded, the Nightly crew will instead attempt to get out Thursday night to be in place for the broadcast Friday, just before NBC’s live telecast of the Opening Ceremonies.

Most of the Today show personnel are already in Vancouver. Matt Lauer arrived Tuesday. Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry arrived in time for Wednesday’s Today show. They were due to arrive Friday with Al Roker, but Today executive producer Jim Bell was taking no chances, he said, and got them out of New York before the storm hit.

Roker stayed behind to report on the snowstorm. He’s due in Vancouver Friday, where the story is the lack of snow.

The Today staff is essentially up all night. At approximately 1 a.m., they catch the long gondola ride up to their broadcast facility on Grouse Mountain. And with the three hour time difference, Lauer, Vieira and Curry are on the air - in the dark - at 4 a.m. Vancouver time.

Lauer is scheduled to participate in the Olympic Torch Relay on Thursday, carrying the flame through the town of Burnaby, British Columbia.

But as Bell noted, the whole team has already been on the run: “We hit the ground running.”