Questions about NBC’s internal investigation into Brian Williams are mounting, but the network won’t be announcing any decision about the anchorman’s future for several weeks, a person involved in the process said Sunday.
According to CNN Money, a decision is still “weeks away,” said the person, who was seeking to blunt media speculation that a conclusion to the ongoing controversy is imminent.
It appears the delay could mean the announcement on the future of “NBC Nightly News” will not be made before NBC’s annual presentation to advertisers on May 11.
According to CNN Money, Industry insiders had been predicting that NBC might want to make a decision about the future of the “NBC Nightly News” before the advertiser meeting.
Willams was suspended without pay after he allegedly exaggerated his telling of an Iraq War mission in 2003.
Lester Holt has been filling in as the anchor of “NBC Nightly News” until Williams suspension ends in August. But there is speculation as to whether Williams will be back in the anchor chair at that time. Holt or another anchor may end up with the job.
Wild speculation is taking place in the television industry regarding this subject. NBC is attempting to fact-check Williams in an effort led by Richard Esposito, the news division’s senior executive producer in charge of investigations, the person involved in the process confirmed.
CNNMoney reported on Saturday that Esposito’s team has documented at least 10 instances of exaggerations and embellishments by Williams. Lack and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke were briefed on the findings on Thursday.
So far NBC has not allowed Williams to defend himself or make any public statement during his suspension. Once a decision is made, CNN Money suggests NBC will either seek to have Williams step aside gracefully, or have him prepare some sort of public apology as he returns to work.
Separately, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday morning that “a decision on Williams’ fate is still at least five weeks away.” That information was attributed to “an executive close to the matter.”