Rising son: NBC 5’s Stefan Holt moving to WNBC in New York

Lester Holt and Stefan Holt

Lester Holt and Stefan Holt

After five years as morning news anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, Stefan Holt is leaving for WNBC in New York, where he’ll work in the same building as his famous father, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt.

Stefan Holt, 29, will join the network’s flagship station in April as co-anchor of a new 4 p.m. weekday newscast, WNBC announced Tuesday. His last day at NBC 5 here will be March 25.

“Stefan is a passionate journalist and a respected part of our talented news staff,” said David Doebler, president and general manager of NBC 5. “We know he has great things ahead for him at our sister station in New York and he will be missed.”

Sources said the younger Holt still had two years left on his contract with NBC 5, but the Chicago station did not want to block his opportunity to advance in the company.

“Stefan is a hard-working, smart and highly curious journalist who takes his responsibility to viewers very seriously,” Susan Sullivan, vice president of news at WNBC, said in a statement. “He’s also a caring person and a thoughtful colleague with an unbelievable ability to connect, which is exactly the kind of person we want to attract to our newsroom. We are proud to welcome him to our NBC 4 team.”

His father, Lester Holt, spent 14 years as a news anchor at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 before moving to New York to join MSNBC in 2000. He later anchored weekend editions of NBC News’ “Today” and “NBC Nightly News.” Last June he was officially named permanent anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” replacing Brian Williams after a four-month on-air tryout.

Born in Chicago during the time his father was at CBS 2, Stefan Holt graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and held internships with KABC in Los Angeles and NBC News in London before joining WPBF, the ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida, as a reporter and fill-in anchor in 2009.

Two years later, the younger Holt landed at NBC 5 as a reporter and weekend morning anchor. Within months he was promoted to weekday morning anchor, first alongside Daniella Guzman and, since May 2014, alongside Zoraida Sambolin.

Until a permanent successor is named, reporter Alex Maragos is expected to fill in with Sambolin from 4:30 to 7 a.m., starting March 28. Sambolin will continue to anchor solo from 4 to 4:30 a.m. Stefan Holt also co-anchors the 11 a.m. newscast with Marion Brooks.

The latest Nielsen ratings show NBC 5 tied for second place with Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9 from 5 to 7 a.m. weekdays, behind ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. Among viewers between 25 and 54, NBC 5 and ABC 7 are tied for second place behind WGN.

“I remember talking to my dad about making the decision that I wanted to become a journalist, that I wanted to become a reporter and work in local news,” Stefan Holt told CNN’s Brian Stelter in an interview last June.

“And he was extremely supportive and told me about how the business changed just in the last 10 years, last 15 years.  But also about the importance of that role, of being a reporter, of being an anchorman, in these times . . . when the nation needs clarity. When people need clarity and they turn to news to find that clarity. So it’s a really important job.”

Stefan Holt and Zoraida Sambolin

Stefan Holt and Zoraida Sambolin