Report: Brian Williams Not Returning to Nightly News, Eyes New Role at NBC

Brian Williams‘ six-month suspension at NBC Nightly News is poised to become permanent, although the embattled newsman is expected to remain at the network in a new role.

According to CNN, Williams and NBC have reached a tentative agreement that will keep him at the network, but not as anchor of the Nightly News. One scenario being bandied about has Williams heading to struggling MSNBC.

In mid-February, NBC issued Williams an unpaid, six-month suspension from his duties as NBC Nightly News‘ chief anchor and managing editor. At the time, NBC News president Deborah Turness promised a continued investigation into the “wrong and completely inappropriate” misrepresentation of events that occurred while Williams was on assignment in Iraq in 2003.

The controversy surrounding Williams began during a Jan. 30 broadcast of Nightly News, when he falsely claimed his helicopter was hit by a grenade in March 2003 as he covered the Iraq War. In the weeks that followed, more of Williams’ reporting and anecdotes were called into question.

NBC vet Lester Holt has been holding down the Nightly News fort since the Williams imbroglio erupted. He is now expected to take over the gig permanently.

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49 Comments
  1. Annie says:

    Say what you will, but I still miss having the man in my living room for nightly news during the week. He was just one of those people you WANTED to hear the news from.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Whether it was true or not?

      • The NEWS he was reporting on was true (or, at least as true as it could be, whether being read by Brian or anyone else). It was only his personal recalling/retelling of HIS OWN experiences and his own stories that were brought into question and/or proven to be false; not anything he reported on.

        • KCC says:

          Knowingly reporting events falsely that happened while he was on assignment is one of the worst things a journalist can do professionally. Whether it’s done at the time of the events or years later. Yes, he reported on his personal experiences, but that’s why he was in a war zone and on an army helicopter. He was being paid by NBC to be there and report back, not on a vacation. That goes for any retelling of those stories. The facts did not change just Williams’ recollection of them and that calls into question his integrity. Embellishing stories to your friends is one thing, but to do it on a national news broadcast as a professional journalist should be career ending. What he reports, especially from personal experience while he’s on assignment must be 100% accurate any time it’s recounted, on air, in a book or where ever. I’m surprised even MSNBC will take him. I expected him to show up on something like America’s Most Wanted or Entertainment Tonight.

          • Kate says:

            Totally agree. There is such a thing a professional ethics and Journalists have the highest standards. I find it rather appalling that there are those who suggest embellishing the truth in this circumstance to be “just fine.” It’s a journalist’s – especially one reporting the news – duty to give an accurate accounting of what is/was happening on his/her assignment. Williams should be thanking his lucky stars he has a job. Even a few short years ago he would have been fired.

        • Chester says:

          One of his embellishments was that bodies floated by him when he was in New Orleans as a reporter. A lie disguised as news.

          The guy is an empty suit who acted the part of anchor. #notareporter

    • I agree with Annie. Further, I don’t feel that his embellishments of his personal story (stories) have any real bearing on his believably/trustworthiness as an anchor at NBC Nightly News. Mostly because at NBC (similar to ABC & CBS) the nightly news half hour is a short presentation of news stories; rarely is there even time, much less reason, for Brian, or any of the other reporters, to proselytize or offer opinions on the stories of the day as they do at the 24-hour news networks.

      • jim says:

        You seem to feel that embellishments are not lies…so says the thief who states “I just borrowed it”.
        Possibly a course in ethics should be mandatory for our young citizens.

        • veronica says:

          don’t be a sanctimonious a$$. is there one person in the world who hasn’t embellished a story at some point in their lives? everyone stretches the truth once in a while, dan rather, walter cronkite, and every political figure ever. lighten up.

          • KCC says:

            Dan Rather lost his job. I never heard any stories about Walter Cronkite embellishing a story on the air. If Williams is to be a trusted journalist he doesn’t get to embellish anything while working. His job is to tell the facts. He’s a journalist not a novelist.

          • hud says:

            My favorite is Scott Pelley. Always a comment after a story, glasses in hand to give substance to his news reading skills And now nightly weather reports!! What is reported as “news” should be retitled “evening entertainment” With all the breaks for the latest in prescription drugs they provide such a valuable service….

        • Why just for young citizens? Why not ALL POLITICIANS, CEO’s and all other corporate executives while we’re at it?

      • Susannah says:

        He wasn’t just the NBC news anchor, he was the head of the NBC News division. He lied about something that happened while on assignment from NBC as their news correspondent. Star and Stripes a military newspaper were the first to say that Brian Williams keeps telling the same story over and over again, on air, and it’s a lie. If the head of NBC News is a known and proven liar, that poses a problem for the network.

    • Walt says:

      I agree!

  2. BrightLight says:

    Sending Brian Williams to MSNBC would be like sending Wolf Blitzer to HLN. I wonder what he would even do over there? Maybe he can host Lockup?
    Seems like they are basically going to Ann Curry him and he will supposedly be doing overseas reporting jobs and the viewers will only see him once in a blue moon.

  3. Annie says:

    I hope Lester Holt gets the role permanently.

  4. Mr. Tran K says:

    My money’s on Lester Holt to become the new face on NBC Nightly News.

  5. Tess says:

    I wonder if he appreciates the irony of his situation ~ a newsman who becomes little more than a news footnote thanks to embellishing his own version of events,,,,seems like a good fit for the Fox Network.

  6. tp1943 says:

    Neither of these newscasters have credibility. IMHO. Prefer CBS or ABC.

  7. doris says:

    WTW! Oh, wait! he’s not returning! What a surprise!

  8. Kisha from Houston says:

    Lester Holt is great…worth watching.

  9. Timot says:

    I don’t know who will replace Brian Williams. I will miss seeing every week night though! If he is going to MSNBC, he will be a great addition to Rachel Maddow! He is a bright articulate man!

  10. jim says:

    The kiss of death for Williams…
    Send Struggling to Struggling.

  11. Robb says:

    OMG!!! Ok what is wrong with some of you stupid stupid people???? Harsh much? Guess you never made a mistake. Inaccurate much? Guess you don’t always pay attention completely to what’s going on around you or in the “news”?

    Can I remind you ALL of, say, one very important time in American history 9/11 when for 2 weeks straight Americans say in front of the TV and watched as ALL news and media speculated for hours a day! This pretty much brought about the standard of all media speculating about every new story because they didn’t know crap yet!!! Definitely NOT saying it’s the same thing, just pointing it out that no one made a stink of all the errors floating around at the time (and since) but now everyone is quick to jump on the Brian Williams “story” to diss and judge! Glad you all are above reproach!

    I know I’m not, but I’d rather take all media to task! And I’m with Annie, I miss him every night! It was him I liked personally to listen to, not necessarily the bad news in the world! But that’s just my opinion, you all go on living your perfect lives! Bam!

    • KCC says:

      Maybe Williams will get a gig reading books on tape and you can continue to listen to his voice since that’s what you like and don’t mind being told fiction. I watch the news for the facts. Often while events are unfolding facts are unknown and I agree with you the media should be willing to say “We don’t know yet” and not speculate. But these were events that happened 12 years ago. He should have the facts by now and definitely should not be embellishing them to make the story better.

      • Robb says:

        Ha ha ha “hail to the righteous who watch news strictly for news – because that is exactly what you get, right? Right? Always and only the news? No unfinished or stories broadcasted in error so a network would have it first? No matter who you like or dislike broadcasting it? When you can tell me truthfully you never embellished anywhere about anything no matter if it was something you were being paid to report on or a little “whitey”, I’ll take your sage and judgemental advice KCC thank you very much! Oh and yeah I did …NOT say I listen to him for his voice not the truth LOLOL..hmmm did you just embellish my words???? Now how truthworthy are you on what you read? Did you speculate on what I wrote? Methinks so! Ah ah ah, shame on you.

        My point was get off it already this crap is done every day everywhere but he had a higher visibility job, move on there are more stories that are REALLY news! And just because people like him doesn’t mean we are idiots, it’s a personal thing.

    • Caren says:

      You are so correct !!

    • John NYC says:

      The days of “GOTCHA” everything where political opposition is a blood sport. And truth be told he did open himself up to the legions of the perpetually outraged who lie in wait in the shadows these days.

  12. They can always create a show called The Mysteries of Brian, where they could try and find out if he was truthful about everything he’s reported. It would be a lot better than The Mysteries of Laura, which is an absolute piece of garbage.

  13. ICE says:

    All chicks defending him! Stop getting so WET and use your heads!

  14. Samuel says:

    Let the bitch fry! Pretending to have suffered and served as an honorable soldier is just plain classless!

  15. suzzan says:

    lester holt is no brian williams. As a temp replacement, he’s ok, but the ratings have totally
    tanked since he has taken over. wonder what they will dip down to now??!

  16. Fossie says:

    Lester holt is great

    • lori says:

      Agree completely! Hardest working person on that network. Congrats to him! I don’t think Williams should be fired, but his credibility as anchor is gone.

  17. give me a break , everybody makes a mistake now and then. It is crazy to think there are people out there who jump on these moments and try and crucify people for being human. I know the job demands respect but dont you think the guy has been punished enough ?Holt has done a good job but i cant get drawn to watch every night like i use to . abc stinks , cbs is too boring, cnn is ok hate fox so i guess i might as well feed the dog in this time slot

  18. A personable enjoyable nightly half hour I always wanted to go another half hour. A couple of embellishments are unfortunate (was it my chopper that was hit or the one next to me), did he see bodies floating in New Orleans or was he reporting that he knew of them around the corner – none of this should over shadow his fine consistent reporting of the evening news. NBC is responding to envious competitors within and outside their network; too bad. He is a loss to the evening news, period!

    • Robb says:

      TOTALLY AGREE!! This was my basic point! Shouldn’t be so crucified when there are so many other good things!

  19. CactusRose says:

    Imbroglio! What a great word. I love it. However, when it comes to newcasters’ integrity, that word should not be in your vocabulary. Bye Bye Brian. Hello Lester.

  20. njartist says:

    It will be a difficult road for Mr. Williams. Several years ago he did a 1 hour
    broadcast on MSNBC. He eventually had his “dream job” and now it is gone.
    I know that he is responsible but this is nothing for anyone to laugh at.
    I guess the corporate bosses hope that this “demotion” will help push
    him out the door. I also think that he has taken a salary reduction. Lester
    Holt is accomplished and I figure that NBC news had to decide if
    if it would be worth to it to let Mr. Holt go to another network if Williams
    came back to chair the broadcast. Who amongst us hasn’t stepped in
    at some point in our life to make a mess of something? I switched over
    to the CBS broadcast because I grew tired of several air heads that
    were on various NBC news shows. Scott Pelley is in my opinion doing
    a first rate job. I find the CBS broadcast to be quite good for what it is.
    I wish Mr. William’s luck because there may be a second act for him.
    The embellishments were unfortunately said but let us face the facts
    when someone causes the company embarrassment for what they have done
    it usually ends up with them being shown the door. Brian Williams stepped in it
    and there were other factors also at work. If the network felt that he was
    worth saving wouldn’t the examination of record been finished sooner?
    There is a lot of office politics being played out here that is for sure.
    If one wants to know what is truly behind this follow the money. NBC
    news has lost its Sunday jewel crown, MTP. Davis Gregory is a fine
    reporter but that was not his best format. So a seasoned correspondent gone.
    I do not think that the ratings have improved with CT at the helm. MSNBC
    is falling behind in the ratings .R Maddow though is perhaps the best that they have. Another correspondent that left who was quite good Norah O’Donnell. The
    network news is more about money ,ad revenue, than almost anything else.
    I do think that the networks try to present the news but we have to face it
    the age of Murrow and Cronkite & Chancellor were a long time ago.

  21. Jack Steel says:

    Is he the first to lie? Or exaggerate the truth? The truth was told but exaggerated. Let any man or woman say that they never lied or stretched the truth cast the first stone. Get this man back on the air. I know I can trust him now! He now knows the price and the punishment for extending the truth. Your own parents and friends have told you a few fables.

  22. Becca says:

    When one door closes another one opens.