Brian Williams returned to TV today, his six-month suspension from NBC News at an end.
"Good day. I'm Brian Williams at MSNBC headquarters here in New York," Williams began his first day once again anchoring breaking news for the cable network, where he hosted his own program before becoming anchor of NBC Nightly News in 2004. "In a short time, Pope Francis will arrive in this country for the first time."
And as viewers waited for the arrival of Pope Francis at Andrews Air Force Base, where he was to be greeted by President Barack Obama, Williams kept to the task at hand and did not address the reason for his absence from TV, during which Lester Holt replaced him as anchor of NBC Nightly News and Williams was transferred to MSNBC.
Looking tan and sounding relaxed, Williams chatted with Chuck Todd, Maria Shriver, Andrea Mitchell and Pete Williams as they awaited the pope's grand entrance.
Williams was suspended for six months back in February after he admitted to telling an embellished story about his time covering the war in Iraq in 2003.
The former NBC Nightly News anchor of 10 years said in a statement when he was moved to MSNBC and Holt was announced as his replacement: "I'm sorry. I said things that weren't true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I'm determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100 percent as he has always supported me. I am grateful for the chance to return to covering the news. My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it."
Williams later told Matt Lauer, "I'm a grateful person. I am fully aware of the second chance I have been given. I don't intend to squander it. I have strong feelings for the folks who tuned in all these years."
It's been a busy week for Williams. His daughter Allison Williams got married over the weekend in Wyoming to her longtime boyfriend Ricky Van Veen. Allison said of her dad's suspension, "It's been tough, though. Obviously, toughest on my dad, who bears the full burden of responsibility for it."
(E! and MSNBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family)