US & Canada

Brian Williams to join MSNBC after losing anchor role

Brian Williams Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brian Williams had been the anchor of the top-rated newscast in the US

US news anchor Brian Williams will not return to his role at NBC Nightly News but instead join the cable news network MSNBC to cover breaking news.

Mr Williams was suspended in February after reports that he had embellished his recollections about the Iraq war.

Lester Holt, who had been filling in during Mr Williams' suspension, will take over the slot permanently.

Mr Holt becomes the first African-American man to lead a top evening news programme.

"I'm determined to earn back their trust,'' Mr Williams said of viewers on Thursday.

Mr Williams is scheduled to appear on the "Today" show on Friday morning to further explain his new role.

Image copyright NBC
Image caption Lester Holt will become the anchor of the NBC Nightly News

Mr Williams, who was the face of the top-rated US news programme since 2004, often spoke on chats shows of being shot down in a helicopter in Iraq.

But in early 2015, veterans who were aboard the helicopter began refuting his account over social media. Mr Williams and the network were forced to apologise.

"I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago," Mr Williams said in February. "I want to apologise. I said I was travelling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] fire. I was instead in a following aircraft."

An internal NBC investigation found Mr Williams may have embellished other stories.

Mr Williams had signed a five-year contract in 2014 before the scandal. For the past few weeks, Mr Williams and NBC Universal - the network's corporate parent - have been negotiating new terms for the embattled newsman.

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