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Brian Williams Leaving NBC News After 28 Years: 'I Have Been Truly Blessed'

Brian Williams

MSNBC’s The 11th Hour will soon go dark, with veteran journalist Brian Williams set to depart NBC News after a 28-year run.

Per Variety, Williams opted not to renew his contract with MSNBC, where he has hosted The 11th Hour since 2016. He will leave NBC News entirely by year’s end.

“After nearly three decades as an award-winning journalist and anchor at MSNBC and NBC News, Brian Williams has informed us he would like to take the coming months to spend time with his family,” Rashida Jones, president of MSNBC, said in a memo Tuesday. “He will be signing off from The 11th Hour at the end of the year.”

Williams, meanwhile, issued the following statement to the The New York Times:

“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. 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.

This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another. There are many things I want to do, and I’ll pop up again somewhere.”

Williams first joined NBC News in 1993. He previously served as chief anchor and managing editor of NBC’s Nightly News, succeeding veteran newsman Tom Brokaw in 2004.

In February 2015, Williams was hit with an unpaid, six-month suspension from Nightly News when it was found that he had falsely claimed that his helicopter was hit by a grenade in March 2003, as he covered the Iraq War. He was subsequently replaced by current anchor Lester Holt, and transitioned to a new role at MSNBC, where he initially anchored breaking news coverage before The 11th Hour bowed in September 2016.