LOS ANGELES - NBC finally pulled the trigger on its long-awaited decision on beleaguered "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams and moved him MSNBC, while naming veteran news anchor Lester Holt his permanent replacement.
Holt. 56, had taken over Williams' spot temporarily in February when Williams was suspended indefinitely when it was revealed the longtime 'Nightly News' anchor had embellished repeatedly his role in news coverage of the Iraq War while on the location.
Williams, 56, will now serve as an anchor for breaking news and special reports for MSNBC, at a lower salary than he had previously received as "Nightly News" anchor.
Williams’s reputation appears to have been badly damaged by his misleading statements about having been aboard a military helicopter that came under enemy fire in Iraq in 2003. In an apology statement in February, Williams disclosed that he “said things that weren’t true,” but he did not detail what lies he had told and when he told them.
Since Holt took over the anchor slot on an interim basis, “Nightly News” has held its own in the ratings against competition from ABC’s “World News Tonight” and CBS’s “Evening News,” likely earning him the coveted anchor job permanently.
Holt joined NBC in 2000 after serving with CBS News and CBS affiliates for 20 years. He had served as NBC News anchor and as host and anchor for the network's popular Dateline newsmagazine.