The NBC Nightly News anchor today told staff in a memo that he is temporarily stepping away from the anchor desk. “Presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions,” Williams said Saturday. Read the full memo below. This comes one day after NBC News boss Deborah Turness announced that the division is now conducting an internal investigation into Williams’ repeated claims that he was was in a helicopter in Iraq in 2003 that took enemy fire. The controversy erupted last weekend after a January 30 NBC News segment detailed the 2003 incident on air. Members of the U.S. military began posting online disputing Williams’ recollection of events. On February 4, Williams apologized to viewers and members of the military on air for the version of events told in the January 30 segment. If the anchor hoped that would end the discussion of his claims he was very wrong as the new anchor became the news.
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.