July 16, 2024

Brian Williams to Leave MSNBC

A person familiar with Mr. Williams’s decision-making who requested anonymity to share private conversations said the anchor would consider his options and hoped to return to television or another media platform soon.

Rashida Jones, the president of MSNBC, wrote in a note to staff on Tuesday that Mr. Williams “has informed us he would like to take the coming months to spend time with his family.”

“We and our viewers will miss his penetrating questions and thoughtful commentary,” she wrote.

For Mr. Williams, 62, the departure from NBC News, the division that houses MSNBC, is another twist in a career that scaled the heights of succeeding Tom Brokaw as the anchor of the “NBC Nightly News” to the lows of a six-month unpaid suspension in 2015, after he acknowledged exaggerating an anecdote about a helicopter ride in Iraq.

His credibility as a journalist tarnished, Mr. Williams returned to television as a breaking news anchor at MSNBC before he and Andrew Lack, then the chairman of NBC News and a close friend, hatched an idea over an Italian dinner for a comeback vehicle. “The 11th Hour” was designed as a late-night show mixing news and conversation about the news, with Mr. Williams as a genial ringleader — part David Brinkley, part Dick Cavett.

It debuted at the height of the 2016 presidential election and quickly found an audience. Left-leaning viewers shocked by the election of Donald J. Trump as president were flocking to MSNBC, and they seemed to forgive Mr. Williams’s past transgressions. In May 2017, “11th Hour” scored bigger ratings than its rivals at CNN and Fox News, giving MSNBC its first outright win in the 11 p.m. time slot since 2001. (The show beat CNN but lost to Fox News in total viewers during the most recent quarter.)

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/09/business/media/brian-williams-msnbc.html

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