Brian Williams’ 11th hour is up.
On Thursday, the longtime NBC and MSNBC anchor signed off from the network, looking back at his 28-year-long career.
Williams — a former anchor and editor of “NBC Nightly News” and, since 2016, the host of “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” on MSNBC — concluded his last show Thursday night, a month after his plans to leave the company were first reported.
“After 28 years of peacock logos on much of what I own, it is my choice now to jump without a net into the great unknown,” the 62-year-old award-winning journalist said in an emotional on-air farewell message.
“The truth is I’m not a liberal or a conservative. I’m an institutionalist. I believe in this place and my love of country I yield to no one,” he told viewers, following a video montage of some of his career highlights with the network.
“But the darkness on the edge of town has spread to the main roads and highways and neighborhoods. It’s now at the local bar, and the bowling alley, at the school board, in the grocery store. And it must be acknowledged and answered for,” Williams continued.
“Grown men and women who swore an oath to our Constitution — elected by their constituents [and] possessing the kinds of college degrees I could only dream of — have decided to join the mob and become something they are not, while hoping we somehow forget who they were. They’ve decided to burn it all down with us inside. That should scare you to no end,” he added.
In early 2015, when Williams was one of NBC’s biggest stars, he was suspended by the network with no pay for six months for exaggerating his role in an episode involving a helicopter, when he was reporting in Iraq.
He later admitted to the mistake he made when “recalling the events of 12 years ago.”
The following year he got his own daily late-night show at the company’s cable news channel, MSNBC, discussing the day’s major political events.
Williams thanked his family, friends, audience and co-workers for this entire time with the network. “Everyone I’ve worked with has made me better at what I do,” he said.
“What a ride it’s been. Where else, how else, was a kid like me going to meet presidents and kings and the occasional rock star?” Williams concluded in his final goodbye message.
”These lovely testimonials that I can never truly repay make me hyper-aware that it has been and remains a wonderful life,” he said.
Last month, MSNBC President Rashida Jones said in a note to staff that Williams would leave at the end of the year to “spend time with his family.”
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