NEW YORK, Feb 11 : NBC News announced on Tuesday it is suspending anchor Brian Williams for six months without pay after a recent controversy.
The anchor apologized on Wednesday for incorrectly stating on several occasions that he was in a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq in 2003, when it was actually a helicopter near the one he was in. He had blamed the "fog of memory" for the mistake.
He said this weekend he would temporarily step down as the network investigated the situation. NBC News President Deborah Turness made that a little more permanent on Tuesday. She announced the news in an email to NBC News employees.
"We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and Anchor of 'NBC Nightly News' for six months. The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately. We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News," she wrote.
"While on 'Nightly News' on Friday, January 30, 2015, Brian misrepresented events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. It then became clear that on other occasions Brian had done the same while telling that story in other venues. This was wrong and completely inappropriate for someone in Brian's position.
"We felt it would have been wrong to disregard the good work Brian has done and the special relationship he has forged with our viewers over 22 years. Millions of Americans have turned to him every day, and he has been an important and well-respected part of our organization. ?UPI