Brian Williams Is Leaving NBC News and MSNBC After 28 Years

"This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another," Brian Williams said in a statement on Nov. 9 to announce his departure from NBC.

By Alyssa Morin Nov 10, 2021 3:47 AMTags
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It's the end of an era.

Brian Williams, who served as a news anchor for NBC News and MSNBC for almost three decades, announced on Tuesday, Nov. 9 that he's leaving the company at the end of this year.

"Following much reflection, and after 28 years with the company, I have decided to leave NBC upon the completion of my current contract in December," Brian said in a statement to staffers, per an email shared with the MSNBC team from Rashida Jones, the president of the cable news network, and obtained by E! News.

"This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another," he continued. "There are many things I want to do, and I'll pop up again somewhere. For the next few months, I'll be with my family, the people I love most and the people who enabled my career to happen."

Rashida reiterated Brian's desire to be with his loved ones, stating in a memo that "he would like to take the coming months to spend time with his family."

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The 62-year-old veteran journalist, who currently hosts The 11th Hour with Brian Williams and formerly served as the chief anchor for NBC's Nightly News, also took a moment to reflect on his time with the company.

"28 years, 38 countries, 8 Olympic games, 7 Presidential elections, half a dozen Presidents, a few wars, and one SNL," he said. "Good friends were in great supply at NBC. I was fortunate that everyone I worked with made me better at my job. I've had the best colleagues imaginable. That includes great bosses."

Art Streiber/MSNBC

Back in 2015, NBC suspended Brian for six months without pay after he admitted to saying "things that weren't true" on-air when he was covering the war in Iraq in 2003. At the time, the news anchor apologized for his past actions, stating, "I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago."

After his suspension, Brain returned to the network but started working for MSNBC, where he later launched The 11th Hour—something he said he was "proud" of creating, according to his statement on Tuesday.

"My return years later was my choice, as was launching The 11th Hour that I'm as proud of as the decade I spent anchoring Nightly News," Brian shared in his farewell. "I wanted it to be called The 11th Hour (it was late in the 2016 campaign), and I wanted it to air at 11 p.m. Eastern time."

He added, "I ask all those who are a part of our loyal viewing audience to remain loyal. The 11th Hour will remain in good hands, produced by the best team in cable news."


Rashida echoed similar sentiments in her memo, writing, "He has built a fiercely loyal following for The 11th Hour and we and our viewers will miss his penetrating questions and thoughtful commentary."

She concluded, "Please join me in expressing our deep gratitude for 28 years of devoted service to our viewers and wishing him the very best."

(E! News and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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