Brian Williams, a veteran journalist who helmed various programs at NBC News and MSNBC, said Tuesday he would leave his job at the end of the year, capping a 28-year stint as one of the country’s most recognizable anchors.
“This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another,” Williams, 62, said in a statement, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter. “There are many things I want to do, and I’ll pop up again somewhere.”
“I have been truly blessed,” he continued. “I have been allowed to spend almost half of my life with one company. NBC is a part of me and always will be.”
Williams’ contract is set to expire later this year after a five-year run at MSNBC, where he hosted the successful program “The 11th Hour.”
He moved to the network from NBC’s flagship “Nightly News” after a scandal for which he was suspended six months in 2015. Williams acknowledged exaggerating his role in a helicopter during the Iraq War, a revelation that hurt his credibility before he regained his footing at MSNBC.
The Los Angeles Times notes that Williams had an offer to stay at the network, but chose to move on. He will spend the months after his contract ends with his family and has no other job lined up, the newspaper added.
Rashida Jones, the president of MSNBC, said the network would miss Williams’ “penetrating questions and thoughtful commentary” in a letter to staff on Tuesday.
Williams has been a stalwart figure for millions of Americans for nearly three decades. He played a seminal role in launching MSNBC in the mid-1990s and helmed “NBC Nightly News” for a decade as it became one of the nation’s most-watched news shows.
His departure will leave two large vacancies at MSNBC. Host Rachel Maddow is also expected to leave her daily program sometime next year, although she will remain at the network.