Longtime NBC News Anchor Brian Williams Announces Plans to Leave the Network After 28 Years
After a nearly three-decade run that reached both the highs of primetime television and the lows of suspension, the 62-year-old is moving on.
On Tuesday, longtime anchor and journalist Brian Williams announced his plans to leave NBC after 28 years.
“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 on Tuesday. “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.”
In his on-air farewell, Williams listed some of his accomplishments while working for both the flagship broadcast network and its cable outpost, MSNBC. His tenure included, in his own accounting, "38 countries, 8 Olympic games, 7 Presidential elections, half a dozen Presidents, a few wars and one SNL.”
One war in particular landed him in hot water in 2015, when he was exposed for exaggerating his role in covering a 2003 helicopter mission in Iraq. The scandal led to a six-month suspension and brought his decade-long tenure at NBC Nightly News to an end.
However, Williams later came back with an 11 p.m. news digest on MSNBC called The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, which had been running since the 2016 presidential election season. During his departure announcement, Williams didn't detail specifics surrounding the future of The 11th Hour, but he said the show would "remain in good hands."
In an email to staff, MSNBC President Rashida Jones wrote, “Brian’s time at NBC has been marked by breaking countless major stories, attracting leading journalists and guests to his programs, and most especially, great resiliency. He has built a fiercely loyal following for The 11th Hour, and we and our viewers will miss his penetrating questions and thoughtful commentary.”
While Williams didn't announce where he goes from here, he said there are many things he wants to do and that he'll "pop up again somewhere.”