Brian Williams is leaving NBC after 28 years and a shaky record, starting strong and nosediving after a "stolen valor" wartime story was exposed by former military personnel in 2015.
Williams will not exit immediately. Instead, he will wait for his contract to expire in December. In a note sent to colleagues on Tuesday obtained by Politico, Williams said that "following much reflection" he had decided to not renew with the network.
"This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another," Williams wrote. "There are many things I want to do, and I'll pop up again somewhere."
Williams, 62, said he will not be immediately seeking a new landing spot, taking a few months off to spend time with his family.
From 2004 until 2015, Williams was NBC's top hard news anchor. After asserting he was on a Chinook helicopter that drew ground fire during the Iraq invasion in 2003, an internal investigation took place within the company eventually leading him to retract the story and apologize.
Following the retraction, NBC News President Deborah Turness suspended Williams without pay for six months from his position as Managing Editor and Anchor of the Nightly News.
"Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003," Turness wrote in a February 2015 statement. "It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian's position."
Williams was demoted to a breaking news anchor for MSNBC in June of 2015. He would later become the host of "The 11th Hour with Brian Williams" on Sep. 6, 2016 – a position he will hold until the completion of his contract.
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