NBC stops short of firing Brian Williams

In a memo, Deborah Turness, president of NBC News, explained the thought process behind the decision to suspend the anchor for six months without pay.

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Tuesday was a big night for news about news.

One long-serving anchor/host, Jon Stewart, announced he would be voluntarily stepping down from “The Daily Show” later this year. Another anchor, Brian Williams, was forcibly removed from his chair, though perhaps not permanently.

NBC News answered swirling controversy over factual discrepancies in a story about the anchor’s experience in a helicopter while covering the Iraq war by suspending Williams for six months without pay.

In a memo to employees, NBC News President Deborah Turness 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.

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