Brian Williams Suspended Without Pay - How It All Went Down
We're learning what went on behind-the-scenes as NBC bosses debated Brian Williams' fate.
CNN's Brian Stelter told INSIDE EDITION, "There were day long meetings for several days in a row at NBC. It all culminated with a private meeting between Brian Williams and the CEO of NBC Steve Burke. Brian Williams came over to Steve Burke's apartment, this giant apartment facing Central Park."
Burke reportedly presented Williams with a list of alleged lies spoken in public over the years, and then delivered the news.
Stelter explained, "Burke said, 'We are going to suspend you for six months.'"
One hour after that meeting, Burke and NBC News President Deborah Turness sent out this staff memo: "Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC news. His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate."
The memo went on to quote Burke as saying, "He deserves a second chance and we are rooting for him. Brian has shared his deep remorse with me and he is committed to winning back everyone's trust."
New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman spoke to sources at NBC. Sherman told INSIDE EDITION, "NBC executives were considering three options: They could fire him, they could suspend him, or they could bring him back and allow him to make a lengthy on air apology and plead with the viewers to let him keep the show. And they decided to bench him for six months."
That's six months without pay. Many believe Williams will never return to the anchor desk.
Sherman continued, "He's caused a lot of damage to his reputation, to the reputation of NBC News, and six months is a long time to be out of the public eye."
Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie were somber as they reacted to Williams suspension on the Today show. "This is a very difficult story for us to report on because it is so, so, so personal in so many ways. Brian is not only a colleague of ours here, but he's a really good friend," Lauer commented.
Guthrie added, "We all care a lot about Brian that's what makes this so hard."
The decision came as his credibility rating plummeted in the wake of the scandal. On the list of the country's most trustworthy people he's gone from number 23 to number 835 practically overnight. That's 20 spots below Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson who's number 815!
We're learning today that Brian Williams made a bizarre bid to replace Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show last year.
He actually lobbied NBC executives for the gig! They reportedly called the idea "ridiculous."
Stephen Battaglio from the LA Times told INSIDE EDITION, "I don't think that idea was ever taken seriously for a minute."
Larry King told INSIDE EDITION, "He will not go away."
Larry King believes Brian Williams has a future on TV, but it's not what you might expect.
"Brian Williams could host Jeopardy!" added King.
That's right, Larry believes Williams could replace Alex Trebek on Jeopardy!. The longtime Jeopardy! host is rumored to be considering retiring next year.
Watch Piers Morgan Defend Brian Williams