Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” has been suspended without pay for six months following his continued misrepresentation of events surrounding his coverage of the Iraq War, NBC said Tuesday night.
“We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as managing editor and anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months,” NBC News president Deborah Turness said in a memo to staff sent to FoxNews.com. “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.”
In the same statement, CEO of NBC Universal Steve Burke said Williams’ actions were inexcusable and jeopardized the trust he has built up with viewers during his decade as the network’s lead anchor. But he said Williams deserved a second chance.
“We are rooting for him,” Burke said.
Williams apologized last week for saying he was in a helicopter that was hit by a grenade while covering the Iraq War in 2003. Instead, it turns out he was in a different group of helicopters and was not hit.
Turness said the network’s probe into Williams’ statements is continuing.
“Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003,” she said. “It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian’s position.”
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