Brian Williams will return to NBC in August, but he’ll be reporting to MSNBC — not NBC Nightly News, which he hosted for over 10 years. In the aftermath of Williams’ false claims about an experience in a military helicopter in Iraq, Lester Holt has been named the permanent anchor for Nightly News. Holt has been filling in for Williams since his suspension in February.
Williams, who joins MSNBC in August, apologized to NBC in an official statement this morning.
“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 said. “I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100 percent as he has always supported me.”
Williams will be anchor of breaking news and special reports at MSNBC, working with SVP Special Reports for NBCU News Group Mark Lukasiewicz. “I am grateful for the change to return to covering the news,” Williams continued. “My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it.”
Chairman of NBC News Andrew Lack expressed his appreciation for Holt’s grace under fire as he takes over for Williams. “Lester has done outstanding work for NBC News over the last 10 years, and he’s performed remarkably well over the last few months under very tough circumstances,” said Lark. “He’s an exceptional anchor who goes straight to the heart of every story and is always able to find its most direct connection to the everyday lives of our audience.”
As for Williams, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke reiterated that the organization believes in second chances. “As you would imagine, this was a difficult decision. Brian Williams has been with NBC News for a very long time and he has covered countless news events with honor and skill,” he said. “The matter has been extensively analyzed and deliberated on by NBC. We are moving forward.”
Tomorrow, the Today show and NBC Nightly News will air an interview Matt Lauer conducted with Brian Williams.