Brian Williams dropped from NBC's 'Nightly News,' will join MSNBC

Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:49pm EDT
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By Paricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Television newsman Brian Williams, who was suspended for fabricating a story about being on board a helicopter when it was attacked in Iraq, has been dropped as anchor of the top-rated NBC "Nightly News" program, the network said on Thursday.

Williams, 56, will join the network's cable channel MSNBC as anchor of breaking news and special reports in mid-August.

Lester Holt, who has anchored the "Nightly News" show since Williams' six-month suspension in February, will now be the permanent anchor of the Comcast Corp owned network's flagship news program.

Until his suspension, Williams was among the most respected journalists in the country and had helmed "Nightly News" since 2004.

"Brian now has the chance to earn back everyone's trust. His excellent work over 22 years at NBC News has earned him that opportunity," Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, said in a statement.

Thursday's announcement follows an internal review by NBC Universal and a lengthy period of negotiations with the Emmy-winning anchor, who was managing editor of "Nightly News" and one of NBC's biggest names.

Williams came under scrutiny in January after telling different versions of a story about being aboard a U.S. military helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during the first days of the Iraq war in 2003.

He was suspended without pay after admitting that the story was not true.   Continued...

NBC News anchor Brian Williams prepares to receive an honorary doctorate in humane letters from George Washington University in Washington, in this file photo taken May 20, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files