“NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams just published a short note revealing he will leave the show for “the next several days” amid the growing scandal surrounding false claims he made about time he spent in Iraq.
A spokesperson for the network sent the note to Business Insider and said it was sent to “NBC News staff.” It was also published on the NBC website where it was titled “A Personal Note from Brian Williams.”
In the short memo, Williams revealed Lester Holt, who normally anchors the show on weekends, is taking over in his absence.
Here’s the full note:
“In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.
As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.”
On Wednesday Williams, NBC News’ top anchor, confessed he “bungled” a story he had told on air about being in a helicopter that was shot down by an RPG in 2003. His admission came after multiple soldiers questioned the tale, which he has told on multiple occasions, and revealed he was actually not in the aircraft.
Since then, Williams’ reporting about Hurricane Katrina has also been called into question and NBC News is reportedly conducting an internal investigation into his work. There have also been multiple reports the situation has led to some turmoil at the network with other NBC News staffers angry at Williams.
In a memo to staff that was sent out Friday, Deborah Turness, the president of the network’s news division said they are “working on what the best next steps are” to address the situation.
Williams has been the face of NBC News for over a decade. He took over “NBC Nightly News” from Tom Brokaw in December 2004.
The show is the highest rated network evening news broadcast.
On Friday, the Hollywood trade magazine Variety looked at the leading potential candidates to replace Williams if he departs NBC News as a result of the scandal. Holt topped the list and was described as “the obvious internal choice.”
NBC spokespeople have not responded to multiple requests for comment from Business Insider asking whether Williams will face disciplinary action.
This story was last updated at 4:57 p.m.
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