Though top brass at the network made it seem for a while like he might be able to hold onto his chair, former NBC News anchor Brian Williams ultimately wasn’t. On Thursday, some four months after he was suspended for lying about some of his experiences reporting in the field, NBC announced that Williams would be moving to a position at MSNBC for lower pay.

Williams’ loss has become his fill-in Lester Holt’s gain, as Holt has been officially upgraded from interim replacement to permanent anchor, as Entertainment Weekly detailed on Thursday:

Williams, who was the subject of an internal investigation at NBC News because of specious claims he made about his time covering the war in Iraq, will move to MSNBC where he will anchor special reports.

“Lester has done outstanding work for NBC News over the last 10 years, and he’s performed remarkably well over the last few months under very tough circumstances,” said NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack in a statement. “He’s an exceptional anchor who goes straight to the heart of every story and is always able to find its most direct connection to the everyday lives of our audience. In many ways, television news stands at a crossroads, and Lester is the perfect person to meet the moment.”

The New York Times added details Thursday about Williams’ and Holt’s new deals:

Mr. Williams will join MSNBC as anchor of breaking news and special reports. The move is a humbling blow for him both professionally and financially. Mr. Williams will earn less money in his new role than he was as anchor of the “Nightly News,” according to an NBC executive with knowledge of the agreement, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The person characterized it as “substantially” less money, but would not be more specific.

Under a contract Mr. Williams signed in December, he was reported to be making at least $10 million a year over five years.

Lester Holt, 56, an NBC veteran who has been filling in for Mr. Williams, will become chief anchor of the “Nightly News.” He is the first African-American to serve as solo anchor of a weekday evening newscast.

In his own statement released Thursday, Williams signaled his support for Holt and apologized again for his professional foul-up. “I’m sorry,” Williams said. “I said things that weren’t true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I’m determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on ‘Nightly News,’ but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor.”

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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