Brian Williams has been suspended from his post as NBC Nightly News chief anchor and managing editor for six months, without pay.
The decision comes in the wake of recent controversy regarding Williams’ coverage of the Iraq War.
“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 statement. “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.”
Turness’ letter to the press goes on to say that NBC News’ investigation into Williams’ “wrong and completely inappropriate” “misrepresent[ation] of events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003” is “ongoing,” led by investigator Richard Esposito and NBCU’s general counsel.
“As Managing Editor and Anchor of Nightly News,” she continued, “Brian has a responsibility to be truthful and to uphold the high stands of the news division at all times.”
In weighing possible disciplinary actions against Williams, she said, “We felt it would have been wrong to disregard the good work Brian has done and the special relationship he has forged with our viewers over 22 years. Millions of Americans have turned to him every day, and he has been an important and well-respected part of our organization…. Certainly there will be those who disagree [with our decision]. But we believe this suspension is the appropriate and proportionate action.”