Brian Williams will host his last MSNBC broadcast on Thursday, Dec. 9, according to bombshell report from CNN Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter.
Williams is departing at a turbulent time for MSNBC. The network is facing a decline in ratings, and it will soon reduce the amount airtime for its other star, Rachel Maddow.
On Wedneday, Stelter wrote in a CNN newsletter:
Brian Williams, who helped put MSNBC on the map 25 years ago, is about to exit the cable news network. He is signing off from ‘The 11th Hour’ for the final time on Thursday night.
Williams has been alluding to his departure date during segments with some of his regular guests, and viewers have been tweeting out tributes to him already.
Stelter could only speculate about Williams’ finale. He wrote, “Here’s hoping for a sendoff befitting his position.”
Williams became the face of cable news from 2004 to 2015, during his tenure as chief anchor for NBC Nightly News. Then, he jeopardized his career by fabricating a story.
In a 2015 broadcast, he claimed to have been “hit by an RPG” while riding in an Iraq War helicopter. According to witnesses, Williams had indeed boarded a nearby helicopter, but not the one under fire.
As a result, Williams was demoted from a chief anchor to a breaking news anchor.
The following year, Williams started hosting The 11th Hour on MSNBC, and he mounted a partial comeback. He won liberal viewers shocked by the unexpected election of former President Donald Trump, and he became television’s highest-rated host in the 11 p.m. timeslot.
However, his ratings remained well below their primetime peak.
Last month, Williams went public with his plans to leave the network.
“Following much reflection, and after 28 years with the company, I have decided to leave NBC upon the completion of my current contract in December,” Williams said in a statement to The New York Times. “I have been truly blessed. I have been allowed to spend almost half of my life with one company. NBC is a part of me and always will be.”
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To fill Williams’ timeslot, MSNBC will air the movie Paper and Glue this Friday at 10 p.m.
After that, the network will air The 11th Hour with a rotating cast of hosts, an MSNBC spokesperson told Stelter.
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