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Brian Williams Announces Departure from MSNBC and NBC News

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams
(Image credit: Art Streiber/MSNBC)

Veteran NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who had successfully rehabilitated his career with a popular 11 p.m. nightly news show on MSNBC, will leave the news organization he has served the last 28 years by the end of 2021.

”This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another,“ Williams said in a statement. ”There are many things I want to do, and I'll pop up again somewhere.”

The vagueness of that statement accompanies the fact that subscription streaming service CNN Plus is currently ramping up and looking for talent. But any connection is mere speculation at this point. 

Williams has hosted the popular nightly news and political discussion show The 11th Hour on MSNBC for the last five years. His contract with NBC News is set to expire at the end of the year. 

CNN reported in August that Williams wants to move off the late-night hour. Also notable: cable news ratings are way down year over year across the board. And one more notable thing to mention: NBC News just dug deep — $30 million a year deep  — to renew MSNBC on-air star Rachel Maddow.

Williams was MSNBC‘s top anchor when the news channel launched back in 1996, and he ultimately assumed the prestige role of anchoring NBC Nightly News. However, his tenure was cut short by accusations that he‘d exaggerated stories about himself in interviews.