NEW YORK (Fwrd Axis) — MSNBC anchor and former Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is leaving NBC News after 28 years when his contract ends at the of the year, MSNBC president Rashida Jones said Tuesday.
Williams joined MSNBC back in 2016 after he was suspended by the network for six months after he falsely claimed that he had been in a helicopter hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War.
After the suspension, Williams moved to MSNBC, where he later launched the popular late-night show “The 11th Hour.”
“This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another,” Williams wrote in a note to colleagues. “There are many things I want to do, and I’ll pop up again somewhere.”
“My return years later was my choice, as was launching ‘The 11th Hour’ that I’m as proud of as the decade I spent anchoring Nightly News,” Williams said in his statement. “I wanted it to be called ‘The 11th Hour’ (it was late in the 2016 campaign), and I wanted it to air at 11 p.m. Eastern time.
“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.”
Williams’ departure comes as MSNBC struggles to fill its schedule in the new year. Rachel Maddow recently signed a new contract after rumors she would be leaving the network. While she is sticking around, her popular show is reportedly switching to once a week instead of nightly.
“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,” Jones said in a statement.
“Please join me in expressing our deep gratitude for 28 years of devoted service to our viewers and wishing him the very best.”