Brian Williams will exit MSNBC and his nightly program “The 11th Hour” at the end of the year.
“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,” Williams said in a statement. “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. For the next few months, I’ll be with my family, the people I love most and the people who enabled my career to happen. I will reflect on the kindness people have shown me, and I will pay it forward.”
Williams had been hosting the late-night program since 2016 and has served as MSNBC’s top breaking news and election anchor, though he did not appear on the network’s Election Night coverage earlier this month. “The 11th Hour” will continue after Williams’ departure.
“Brian’s time at NBC has been marked by breaking countless major stories, attracting leading journalists and guests to his programs, and most especially, great resiliency. He has built a fiercely loyal following for ‘The 11th Hour’ and we and our viewers will miss his penetrating questions and thoughtful commentary,” added MSNBC president Rashida Jones.
Overall, Williams has been with NBCUniversal since 1993.
He moved over to MSNBC as host of “The 11th Hour” a year and half after he was forced out as anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News” in 2015, when he fabricated a story where he said his helicopter was shot down while on assignment in Iraq. It was later revealed that his helicopter had actually landed safely. He was eventually replaced on “The Nightly News” by Lester Holt.
Williams was one of NBC News’ biggest stars. In addition to hosting “The Nightly News” from 2004-2015, he frequently appeared on the network’s late-night shows and even hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2007. He briefly had a primetime newsmagazine called “Rock Center With Brian Williams.”