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Brian Williams won't return as 'NBC Nightly News' anchor

The CNN newsman was suspended in February for fabricating a story.

FILE: Brian Williams. Picture: AFP.

WASHINGTON - Television newsman Brian Williams, suspended by NBC in February for fabricating a story that he had come under fire on a helicopter during the Iraq war, will not return as anchor of the network's Nightly News programme, CNN reported on Wednesday.

CNN, citing unnamed sources, reported that NBC and Williams had reached a tentative agreement to keep him at the network after his six-month suspension ends in August, but he would assume a different role.

Williams will not return as anchor of NBC's evening newscast under the arrangement, CNN reported. NBC, owned by Comcast Corp, could make an announcement about his future on Thursday, CNN reported.

Lester Holt, interim anchor of Nightly News during Williams' suspension, is expected to become the permanent anchor of the programme, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Wednesday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Williams, who began anchoring NBC Nightly News in 2004, came under scrutiny in January after telling different versions of a story about being aboard a US military helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during the first days of the Iraq war in 2003.

He was suspended without pay for six months after he voluntarily took himself off the air in February and NBC News launched an inquiry into his account of the event.

NBC representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.