Brian Williams won’t return to the anchor’s chair at NBC Nightly News. Williams is being replaced by Lester Holt, the broadcast’s interim anchor, four months after being suspended for misrepresenting his experiences covering the war in Iraq, NBC said Thursday in a statement.
Williams will return to MSNBC, where he was an anchor from 1996 to 2004. There, he will anchor breaking news and special reports, the network said. He will begin his new role in mid-August.
Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, called Holt “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.” Holt called the appointment “an enormous honor.”
The revelation that Williams had misrepresented his experiences in covering the Iraq War resulted in a review of his work that was conducted by Richard Esposito, who leads the investigative unit at NBC News, and overseen by Kim Harris, executive vice president and general counsel of NBCUniversal.
The review found “that Williams made a number of inaccurate statements about his own role and experiences covering events in the field. The statements in question did not for the most part occur on NBC News platforms or in the immediate aftermath of the news events, but rather on late-night programs and during public appearances, usually years after the news events in question.”
“Brian now has the chance to earn back everyone’s trust,” Lack said in the statement. “His excellent work over twenty-two years at NBC News has earned him that opportunity.”
In the 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.”
An interview with Williams by NBC’s Matt Lauer will air Friday on the Today show and on the NBC Nightly News.