Brian Williams To Temporarily Leave NBC Nightly News

12:40 PM EST 2/9/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams is said to be temporarily stepping away from the show due to questions about his memories of war coverage in Iraq, calling it "painfully apparent" that he has become a distracting news story.

In a memo Saturday to NBC News staff that was released by the network, the anchorman said that as managing editor of NBC Nightly News he is taking himself off the broadcast for several days. Weekend anchor Lester Holt will fill in, Williams said.

NBC News refused to comment Saturday on when or whether Williams would return and who would decide his future.

Williams, however, said he would be back.

"In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions," Williams said in his memo, according to a report by Yahoo News.

"Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us," he wrote.

Williams' importance to NBC News goes beyond his anchor status, said Al Tompkins, a faculty member for broadcast and online at The Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank.

Williams' absence itself is a delicate challenge, according to Tompkins.

"He can't be gone long. The timing will be critical - too short and it won't seem like he has taken himself out of the game long enough, and too long and he looks like damaged goods," he said.

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