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Brian Williams Is Leaving NBC

Fixture at the network will exit at the end of the year
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2021 12:47 AM CST
Brian Williams Is Leaving NBC
In this Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, file photo, television journalist Brian Williams arrives at the Asbury Park Convention Hall during red carpet arrivals prior to the New Jersey Hall of Fame inductions, in Asbury Park, NJ.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

(Newser) – After, as he put it, "28 years, 38 countries, eight Olympic games, seven presidential elections, half a dozen presidents, a few wars, and one SNL," (and, as we put it, one major controversy, countless resulting memes, and a successful comeback), Brian Williams is leaving NBC. The former longtime anchor of NBC Nightly News and current MSNBC host announced Tuesday he'll be exiting the network at the end of the year, per NBC. That's when his current contract ends, Deadline notes. MSNBC President Rashida Jones said Williams is leaving to "spend time with his family," but Williams, 62, also noted, "There are many things I want to do, and I’ll pop up again somewhere."

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After his 2015 suspension for inaccurately reporting that a helicopter he was in in Iraq in 2003 was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, Williams returned and launched The 11th Hour on MSNBC. "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," he 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 11pm Eastern time." He promised viewers he's leaving the show in good hands. A source tells Variety it was Williams' own decision to leave, because he felt he'd done all he could at the network, and CNN had reported over the summer that Williams wanted off the late-night shift. (Read more Brian Williams stories.)

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