After 28 years at NBC and its affiliate MSNBC, television news anchor Brian Williams is saying goodbye. Where's Williams going?
Williams announced his departure on Nov. 9, and he read his resignation letter on his MSNBC show The 11th Hour.
“Following much reflection, and after 28 years with the company, I have decided to leave NBC upon the completion of my current contract in December,” Williams said. “I have been truly blessed. I have been allowed to spend almost half of my life with one company. NBC is a part of me and always will be.”
During his tenure at NBC and MSNBC, Williams has been present for eight Olympic games, seven presidential elections, half a dozen presidential administrations, a few wars, and one SNL appearance, he said.
Why is Brian Williams leaving?
Williams’ contract with MSNBC is set to expire in December. Williams says he will be spending the next few months with his family. Although there isn't any news on a new on-air role for him yet, he plans to “pop up again somewhere.”
“This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another. There are many things I want to do,” Williams said in a statement.
The New York Times reports that an anonymous person familiar with Williams’s decision-making said that the anchor would consider his options and hoped to return to television or another media platform soon.
Williams succeeded Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News.”
Williams, 62, joined NBC News in 1993 and, in 2004, he succeeded Tom Brokaw as anchor of the NBC Nightly News.
As the head of the number one evening news show in the country, Williams became one of the most trusted names in America. His career at NBC also included a gig as SNL host and appearances on 30 Rock.
Brian Williams was suspended for six months amid scandal.
However, Williams’ credibility took a hit in 2015 after he admitted that he exaggerated his role in a helicopter ride in Iraq. The scandal led to Williams’ unpaid suspension from NBC for six months. Lester Holt took over as anchor of NBC Nightly News and still leads the show.
After his suspension, Williams returned to television on MSNBC and, in 2016, he and then NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack launched the late-night show, The 11th Hour. Within a year, the show’s ratings surpassed those of rivals CNN and Fox News.
Who will replace Brian Williams?
It isn't clear who will replace Williams on The 11th Hour after he leaves at the end of this year. MSNBC has seen several of its news hosts depart lately. Next year, popular MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow is also stepping away from her daily show and refocusing on a more weekly format show for the network, CNN Business reports.
Whoever his replacement is, Williams encouraged viewers to continue watching the show, which he says is more about the guests than the host.
“The 11th Hour is way bigger than any one man or one woman,” Williams said. “I ask all those who are a part of our loyal viewing audience to remain loyal. The 11th Hour will remain in good hands, produced by the best team in cable news.”