On February 10, 2015, Brian Williams was suspended without pay for six months due to the controversy which arose after he came under fire for fabricating a story about his reporting on the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina. Williams claimed to have been reporting in Iraq in 2002 when the helicopter he was traveling on was hit by an RPG and he was forced to land. He had told the story several times, including his appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and on Nightly News itself only a few nights before several war veterans who had been with Williams in 2002 claimed that Williams had not been present at the time of the crash, but showed up about an hour later to report on it. Williams issued an apology, saying he had “misremembered” the story in his head and it had been a genuine accident, but many critics accused Williams of fabricating the story and called for his resignation. Brian later announced that he would be taking some time off because he had become “too much a part of the news.”
On February 10, 2015, due to the suspension of Williams, it was announced that weekend anchor Lester Holt would anchor the program in the interim until June 18, 2015.
On June 18, 2015, NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andrew Lack announced that Lester Holt would become the main anchor of Nightly News on a permanent basis effective June 22.