LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Brian Williams has been suspended as anchor and managing editor of NBC’s “Nightly News” for six months without pay after he admitted to embellishing a war story, the network has announced.
The announcement of the suspension came late Tuesday and the 55-year-old Williams has reportedly met with NBC executives.READ MORE: Sixth SoCal Driver In 3 Months Reports Window Blown Out On Freeway
“By his actions, Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans placed in NBC News. His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate,” NBC chief executive Steve Burke said in a statement.
Late last week, Williams announced that he was suspending himself temporarily from the newscast.
His decision to do so came after he recanted a story that suggested he was aboard a military helicopter which came under fire in 2003.
The story was repeated for years by Williams and, most recently, was told at an NHL game during a tribute for a retired soldier who provided security to the downed crew.
Williams then talked about it on NBC “Nightly News,” stating: “The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG.”READ MORE: Protest Held Against Reseda Tiny Home Community Being Built For Homeless
When Williams repeated the story, crew members took to social media, charging that he was never on the downed aircraft.
Earlier this month, Williams made a stunning admission during a broadcast, stating: “I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago.” He apologized to viewers.
In a memo to NBC News staff, NBC News President Deborah Turness said the suspension would be effective immediately.
The memo said weekend anchor Lester Holt would continue to serve as a substitute anchor for “NBC Nightly News.”
“As Managing Editor and Anchor of Nightly News, Brian has a responsibility to be truthful and to uphold the high standards of the news division at all times,” added Turness in the memo.
Williams recently signed a new five-year contract reported to be worth $10 million a year.MORE NEWS: Caitlyn Jenner Appears On Fox News For Her First Interview Since Announcing A Bid For California Governor
While it remains unclear what’s in store for Williams after the suspension, Burke said Williams deserves a second chance, adding: “We are rooting for him. Brian has shared his deep remorse with me and he is committed to winning back everyone’s trust.”