BREAKING: Brian Williams Will Not Return to NBC Nightly News Anchor Desk [UPDATED]

June 17th, 2015 7:49 PM

UPDATE - June 18, 2:45 a.m. Eastern: During the 1:00 a.m. hour on CNN Newsroom, CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter joined co-host Errol Barnett to discuss the latest developments regarding the rumored agreement between Brian Williams and NBC for him to step aside from anchoring NBC Nightly News to reportedly join MSNBC as a breaking news anchor.

Barnett and Stelter also highlighted the historic nature of Lester Holt’s reported promotion to the full-time, weekday anchor position of NBC Nightly News in that Holt would become the first African-America to solely anchor a weekday network newscast.

UPDATE - 10:35 p.m. Eastern: With more insight into the decision, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times are both reporting that Williams’s new role will be primarily that of a breaking news personality on MSNBC. The New York Times stated that one source believes that such a role at MSNBC will be “probably in a breaking-news capacity at the beginning.”

Over at the New York Post’s Page Six, a source told them that the new job at MSNBC for Williams “is something very different, but within news, that gives Brian room to grow and to rebuild his reputation.” In addition, the Post added that it’s said to be “very different” from the position that was created for Ann Curry after she left Today in June 2012.

>> Find all of NewsBusters‘ coverage of Brian Williams here <<

UPDATE - 9:15 p.m. Eastern: Citing sources within Comcast (which is the parent company of NBC), The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint has more after its initial report about Holt taking over NBC Nightly News on a permanent basis from Brian Williams:

Comcast Corp.’s NBC is expected to elevate Lester Holt to permanent anchor of its “Nightly News” broadcast, a person familiar with the matter said, four months after he took over on an interim basis following the suspension of his embattled predecessor Brian Williams.

UPDATE - 8:45 p.m. Eastern: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that long-time weekend Today co-host and NBC Nighlty News weekend anchor Lester Holt will assume the permanent position of the weekday show as part of Williams's departure: 


ORINGINAL POST - 7:49 p.m. Eastern:

According to CNN's Brian Selter on Wednesday night, NBC News will announce that suspended NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will not return to the anchor desk when his six-month suspension ends in August for having perpetuated lies about numerous stories he’s covered in his career. Stelter reports that Williams will instead assume a new role in the network.

As followers of this saga may remember, the scandal was unearthed on February 4 after the military newspaper Stars and Stripes found that Williams had lied on January 30's NBC Nightly News about being shot down over Iraq in March 2003 and was “kept alive” by a U.S. Army Command Sergeant who he had finally reunited with to attend a New York Rangers hockey game on the night of January 29.

It still is not yet known who will replace Williams as anchor of NBC Nightly News. Weekend anchor Lester Holt has served as the interim anchor of the newscast when Williams was formally suspended without pay on February 10. Holt also filled in for Williams prior to his suspension when he originally announced that he would step aside from the newscast for “the next several days” on February 7.

Here's more from Stelter: 

Brian Williams is down, but not out.

NBC and Williams have come to a tentative agreement that will keep Williams at the network after his six-month suspension ends in August.

The decision, described by people with knowledge of the plan, ends months of speculation that Williams could leave NBC altogether.

Williams will not be returning to the "NBC Nightly News" anchor chair, the people said. Instead he will have a new role; the details of it are unknown to all but a very small number of executives.

"No one knows anything," one anchor at the network complained Wednesday.

But that may change very soon: NBC could make an announcement about Williams' future on Thursday, the people with knowledge of the plan said.

Stay with NewsBusters for more on the developing story.