Brian Williams will be in the “Nightly News” anchor chair tonight, a source tells TVNewser, even as an internal investigation is launched into his reporting.
Richard Esposito, senior EP of the NBC News investigative unit, will lead the internal probe, the New York Daily News reports. Esposito joined NBC from ABC News in 2013.
“This has been a difficult few days for all of us,” NBC News president Deborah Turness emailed in a note to staffers this afternoon.
Turness hinted at the internal investigation to come: “As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired.”
Williams is under fire for the error-filled retelling of a story during his coverage in the early days of the Iraq War. He claimed the chopper he was in was hit by an RPG. It wasn’t. He apologized Wednesday. But in the last 48 hours other recollections have been called into question, from his reporting in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to his work as a volunteer firefighter in New Jersey.
NBC News has “failed to reinforce how trust is the most important thing to the network’s relationship with its viewers and audience,” a communications expert tells TVNewser. “They are at serious risk of screwing their brand by focusing solely on him and not protecting their own brand and credibility.”
Turness’s full note below:
This has been a difficult few days for all of us at NBC News.
Yesterday, Brian and I spoke to the Nightly News team. And this morning at the Editorial Exchange, we both addressed the wider group. Brian apologized once again, and specifically expressed how sorry he is for the impact this has had on all of you and on this proud organization.
As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired. We’re working on what the best next steps are – and when we have something to communicate we will of course share it with you.
Since joining NBC News, I’ve seen great strength and resilience. We are a close-knit family, and your response this week has made that even clearer.
As a relentless news agenda marches on, thank you again for continuing to do what we do best – bring the most important stories of the day to our audience.