Brian Williams, the anchor of NBC's top-rated "Nightly News" program, has been suspended without pay for six months after admitting last week that a story he told about coming under fire on a helicopter during the Iraq war was not true, the network said on Tuesday.
As one of America's most prominent journalists, Williams' suspension and sudden downfall casts a pall over the Comcast Corp-owned network and its reputation as one of the most authoritative sources for news in the United States.
"By his actions, Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News," NBC Universal Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke said in a statement from the network. "His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate."
Williams, 55, a star anchor who has led "Nightly News" since 2004, has told different versions of a tale in which a US military helicopter he was riding in during the first days of the Iraq war in 2003 was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.