NBC gives Williams a shot at redemption
By David Bauder
AP Television Writer
NBC News said Thursday that Brian Williams will not return to his job as “Nightly News” anchor after his suspension for misrepresenting himself, but will be given a second chance as a breaking-news anchor at the cable network MSNBC.
Lester Holt, who has been subbing for Williams since his suspension in February, will take over the job full-time, the network said.
Williams was suspended in February for falsely claiming he had been in a helicopter hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War. NBC launched an internal investigation that found Williams “made a number of inaccurate statements about his own role and experiences covering events in the field.”
“Brian now has the chance to earn back everyone’s trust,” said Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC. “His excellent work over 22 years at NBC News has earned him that opportunity.”
In a statement, Williams said: “I’m sorry. I said things that weren’t true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I’m determined to earn back their trust.”
Williams has filmed an interview with his NBC News colleague, Matt Lauer, that will be aired today on the “Today” show and on “Nightly News.”
NBC, which had signed Williams to a new five-year contract last fall, had been negotiating his new role over the past few weeks. Network executives didn’t immediately make themselves available to explain their decision-making process, or why it was deemed Williams should not report the news on the evening newscast but could do so on MSNBC.