NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor Brian Williams has taken a leave of absence from the program for the next “several days.” Weekend anchor and primary substitute anchor Lester Holt will fill in for Williams during this period. In a statement published online with the title, “A Personal Note from Brian Williams,” Williams said he made the decision as managing editor of the program that he was “too much a part of the news.” Williams has been embroiled in controversy ever since he apologized in an interview with Stars and Stripes for fabricating a story about a helicopter ride during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. NBC News has largely stayed quiet on the issue which has allowed Williams’s critics to run free and frequent. Days ago, NBC News President Deborah Turness announced an internal investigation into Williams’s claims. The internal review is being headed up by Richard Esposito, the Senior Executive Producer of NBC News’s investigative team.
All three evening news broadcasts reported on Williams’s statement. Lester Holt brought up Williams’s statement, however he did not mention that he would be filling in for Williams.
Read Williams’s Statement:
In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.
As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.