NBC News President Deborah Turness Addresses Brian Williams Controversy: Read Memo

“This has been a difficult few days for all of us at NBC News,” Turness writes to staff

NBC News President Deborah Turness addressed the controversy swirling around “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams on Friday, stating that executives are gathering facts about his Iraq reporting and will share their findings once completed.

Turness informed staff that she and Williams spoke to the “Nightly News” team on Thursday and Friday, when he apologized again for his errors and its impact on his producers and team.

“Since joining NBC News, I’ve seen great strength and resilience,” Turness said in a memo. “We are a close-knit family, and your response this week has made that even clearer.”

Williams apologized Wednesday on-air for the “mistake” of confusing being on a helicopter in Iraq shot down by RPG [Rocket-propelled grenade] fire in 2003 with being on the one behind it that wasn’t struck.

“I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” he said Wednesday. “It did not take long to hear from some brave men and women in the air crews who were also in that desert. I want to apologize, I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft.”

Read Turness’ full memo below.

This has been a difficult few days for all of us at NBC News.

Yesterday, Brian and I spoke to the Nightly News team. And this morning at the Editorial Exchange, we both addressed the wider group. Brian apologized once again, and specifically expressed how sorry he is for the impact this has had on all of you and on this proud organization.

As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired. We’re working on what the best next steps are – and when we have something to communicate we will of course share it with you.

Since joining NBC News, I’ve seen great strength and resilience. We are a close-knit family, and your response this week has made that even clearer.

As a relentless news agenda marches on, thank you again for continuing to do what we do best – bring the most important stories of the day to our audience.

Deborah