Brian Williams has been suspended for six months without pay as managing editor and anchor of ‘NBC Nightly News.’
Breaking: Brian Williams suspended for six months without pay, according to an NBC source.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 11, 2015
NBC chief executive Steve Burke said that Williams’ actions were inexcusable and jeopardized the trust he has built up with viewers during his decade as the network’s lead anchor. Burke also said that Williams deserved a second chance.
Brian Williams’ credibility has been questioned in recent weeks after Williams incorrectly claimed that he rode in a helicopter that came under RPG fire in Iraq in 2003. Williams issued an on-air apology on Feb. 4. Three days later, he was temporarily taken off the air as NBC conducted an internal investigation.
Politico has obtained a copy of NBC News’ internal memo on Williams’ suspension:
We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and Anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months. The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately. We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News.
Our review, which is being led by Richard Esposito working closely with NBCUniversal General Counsel Kim Harris, is ongoing, but I think it is important to take you through our thought process in coming to this decision.
Watch Williams’ apology below:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.