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NBC removes Brian Williams from 'Nightly News'

Lester Holt, who had been subbing for Williams, will take over full time

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NEW YORK – NBC News says that Brian Williams will not return to his job as "Nightly News" anchor, but will remain anchor breaking news reports at the cable network MSNBC.

Williams was suspended in February for falsely claiming he had been in a helicopter hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War. NBC launched an internal investigation that turned up other instances where Williams embellished or misrepresented his experiences, frequently during appearances on talk shows. Before his swift tumble, Williams was arguably the most powerful on-air personality in television news. NBC, which had signed Williams to a new five-year contract last fall, had been negotiating his new role over the past few weeks. He will start that role in mid-August.

"I'm sorry. I said things that weren't true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I'm determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100% as he has always supported me. I am grateful for the chance to return to covering the news. My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it," Williams said in a statement.

Lester Holt, who has been subbing for Williams since the suspension, will take over the job full-time.

"This is an enormous honor. The respect and admiration I have for the Nightly News team has only grown deeper over the last several months that we've been together. Day-in and day-out under an uncomfortable spotlight they have produced world-class journalism. I'm very proud and grateful to be part of such an unflappable and dedicated team of professionals as we move forward together," Holt said.

Holt, 56, has been a television news reporter for thirty-four years. He joined NBC in 2000 and became the full-time anchor of Weekend Nightly News in 2007. He also anchors Dateline and co-anchors Weekend TODAY.