MSNBC host and former “NBC Nightly News” anchor and managing editor Brian Williams is leaving NBC at the end of the year to “spend time with his family,” MSNBC President Rashida Jones said Tuesday.
In his farewell to colleagues, Williams took stock of some of his accomplishments: “28 years, 38 countries, 8 Olympic games, 7 Presidential elections, half a dozen Presidents, a few wars, and one SNL.”
“Good friends were in great supply at NBC. I was fortunate that everyone I worked with made me better at my job," Williams, 62, wrote.
In an email, Jones said Williams broke “countless” major stories and attracted top journalists to his programs.
In 2015, when he was the anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” Williams was suspended by the network for six months after he told an inaccurate story about his helicopter’s having been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.
He admitted on the air that he had “made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago.”
After the suspension, Williams moved to MSNBC, where he later launched “The 11th Hour.”
“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 didn’t announce plans but said that he had many things he hoped to do and that he expected that he would “pop up again somewhere.”