Why is Brian Williams Leaving MSNBC News?

Brian Williams has announced he will be leaving MSNBC News after 28 years at NBC.

The American journalist has had an illustrious career, hosting a range of news series during his time at the network.

His announcement came as a surprise to fans, given his newest show The 11th Hour with Brian Williams only launched in 2016.

Here's everything we know about his departure so far.

When Is Brian Williams Leaving MSNBC News?

Brian Williams is departing the network as a whole at the end of his current contract, which is December 2021.

He is not only leaving his post as chief anchor or MSNBC News, but also his show The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.

While he did not specify his reason for leaving, he did discuss what he would be doing next, which included spending time with loved ones.

Speaking on The 11th Hour, he said: "For the next few months. I'll be with my family, the people I love most, the people who enable my career to happen."

"I will reflect on the kindness people have shown me and I will pay it forward."

He did say he had been reflecting about next year being his 40th year in journalism, joking that "the earth was still cooling, in fact, when I started as a reporter." However, he did not suggest he would be retiring at this point.

Brian Williams' Announcement In Full

On his show, Williams announced his departure with a written statement, which he read aloud as the episode came to an end.

The statement read: "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. I have been truly blessed. I have been allowed to spend almost half my life with one company. NBC is a part of me and always will be.

"28 years, 38 countries, eight Olympic Games, seven presidential elections, half a dozen presidents, a few wars, and one SNL. Good friends were in great supply at NBC. I was fortunate that every one I worked with made me better at my job. I have had the best colleagues imaginable. That includes great bosses.

"I was on the air for the launch of MSNBC. My return years later was my choice. As was launching The 11th Hour that I'm as proud of as the decade I spent anchoring Nightly News.

Brian Williams
Journalist Brian Williams attends a screening of "Get Out" at Regal LA Live Stadium 14 on February 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

"I wanted it to be called The 11th Hour as it was it was late in the 2016 campaign back then, and I wanted it to air at 11 PM Eastern time. I ask all those of you who are a part of our loyal viewing audience to remain loyal.

"The 11th Hour will remain in good hands produced by the best team in cable news. Special thanks are due to our guests on The 11th Hour. The journalists who made our broadcast what it was, they are our stars and in this era, stars have Pulitzers.

"This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of another. There are many things I want to do and I'll pop up again somewhere. For the next few months. I'll be with my family, the people I love most, the people who enable my career to happen. I will reflect on the kindness people have shown me and I will pay it forward.

"So that's all of it. And we get to meet here in this way for a few more weeks. And the good news is you get to keep watching. As I said The 11th Hour is way bigger than any one man or woman. The truth is, our secret has always been, it's always about our guests. That will never change."

At the moment, who will replace Williams has not been announced.

Newsweek has approached NBC for comment.