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Dan Rather to Leave CBS Evening News

I guess the handwriting on the wall was written in blood.

Dan Rather Stepping Down

(CBS) Dan Rather announced Tuesday that he will step down as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News in March, 24 years after his first broadcast in that position.

Rather will continue to work full-time at CBS News as a correspondent for both editions of 60 Minutes, as well as on other assignments for the news division.

CBS made no mention of a potential successor.

Rather, 73, has come under fire for his 60 Minutes report on President Bush's service in the National Guard during the Vietnam War. The report relied on documents that cast Mr. Bush's service in a negative light. Critics charged that the documents were forgeries, and CBS News was unable to vouch for their authenticity. An independent commission is now investigating the matter.

"I have been lucky and blessed over these years to have what is, to me, the best job in the world and to have it at CBS News. Along the way, I've had the honor of working with some of the most talented, dedicated professionals in the world, and I'm appreciative of the opportunity to continue doing so in the years ahead," Rather said in a statement.

I bet the situation at CBS was hotter than the radiator cap on a '42 Desoto.

Dan Rather to Leave 'CBS Evening News'

Nov. 23, 2004 — Dan Rather announced today he will step down as anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News" on March 9, 2005 — 24 years to the day after his first broadcast as the network's anchor.

Rather will stay with CBS News, working full time as a correspondent for both editions of "60 Minutes," and taking on other assignments as well.

"I have been lucky and blessed over these years to have what is, to me, the best job in the world and to have it at CBS News," Rather said. "Along the way, I've had the honor of working with some of the most talented, dedicated professionals in the world, and I'm appreciative of the opportunity to continue doing so in the years ahead."

He and the network began discussing his future during the summer, he said, adding that he looks forward to getting back to working as an investigative reporter full time.

"Dan's 24 years at the 'CBS Evening News' is the longest run of any evening news anchor in history and is a singular achievement in broadcast journalism," Leslie Moonves, CBS chairman and co-president and co-chief operating officer of CBS parent Viacom said in a statement.

"He has been an eyewitness to the most important events for more than 40 years and played a crucial role in keeping the American public informed about those events and their larger significance," he said. "We congratulate him on all he has accomplished and look forward to the future."

It really should come as no surprise that he fell on his sword. CBS let him get thru the election and waited for things to settle down before they pushed him. I guess that is fair enough. Losing an anchor during a major election would have been traumatic.

I'm sure mountains of bloggers will be calling for him to leave 60 Minutes as well. I'll refrain, as I'm sure he will only be there long enough to make it look like it was his decision to go.

Dan Rather now knows how it feels to be chased out of town like a traveling salesman trying to make time with the preacher's daughter at the church social.


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» Blogs for Bush linked with Did You Get This Memo?

» ianmassey.com linked with Good Riddance

» Powerpundit linked with Blogosphere Reaction To Rather's Departure

» CALIFORNIA YANKEE linked with Dan Rather To Leave CBS Evening News

Comments (13)

I don't like it. It's not ... (Below threshold)
BR:

I don't like it. It's not enough. Heyward is already singing his praises. Do we stand by and watch all the going-away parties between now and March 05? Gag me with a spoon. We want to know! Who were the forgers! What did Rather know, when did he know, who were the co-conspirators!

Ahhh, what a shame. Buh-bye... (Below threshold)
Clay Jarr:

Ahhh, what a shame. Buh-bye, Dan. We hardly even knew ye.

I'm with you, BR. I don't like it either. But, I've become just cynical enough to know that honorable behavior isn't the norm these days. Folks like my father and grandfather are few and ever farther between.

The real shame is that honor, that absolute metric, is now handed out to those graded on the curve. The bar gets lower and lower.

Rather's retirement was alr... (Below threshold)

Rather's retirement was already planned long before Rathergate happened. There's no way to spin this as discipline, much as we'd like to.

I'm not sure I agree Spoons... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I'm not sure I agree Spoons... He was supposed to find a replacement and name him well in advance.... NBC did it almost 2 years in advance for their anchor and like half a decade for the tonight show.

But Rather just decides to jump ship before they can even name a replacement??? ... And announces it just a couple of weeks after the election????

I think the investigation was going to be a horrific embarrassment so CBS have him a chance to bow out gracefully. It might not have been as viscerally satisfying as a good old fashioned firing, but I think there is a direct correlation.

I bet Mapes gets "a better offer" before the investigation comes in too.

If someone would have told ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

If someone would have told me at the beginning of the year that George W. Bush would not only defeat Kerry in commanding form and deflate the fevered egos behind celebrity politics AS WELL AS send Dan Rather packing, I wouldn't have believed it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You underestimate Bush at your peril.

Rather should just go and g... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Rather should just go and grow a beard like Algore and bore students to death on college campuses. Listen for news reports about Rather telling students how much Bush sucks and how dumb Red Staters are.

RatsSinking ship<br ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Rats
Sinking ship
'Nuff said

Count me as one of those wh... (Below threshold)

Count me as one of those who want him all the way gone, not just back to the scene of the original crime. Rather should not have any additional opportunities to corrupt and distort the news in any way shape or form.

His detestable actions with the memos forfeited his ability to provide news - except that of his own resignation/firing.

Frankly, there is no reason for CBS to be gracious here. He tarnished the reputation of the network, and he continues to leave the network with a black eye. That the network is permitting this situation to drag on suggests that they had a similar worldview/outlook, which was very sympathetic to Rather's position regarding the documents -hoping beyond hope that they were the real deal, and then overlooking the very real and very definitive outing of those documents as being very very bad forgeries.

Yawn... (Below threshold)
mshyde:

Yawn


The forger was Mapes. It's all over the internet.
But I doubt anything will happen to her.
Looks like once again she can be above law and get away with it.

March is far too late for R... (Below threshold)
John:

March is far too late for Rather to go. How about a nice Christmas present to us all? He can go out with the other leftover turkeys and leave at the end of the month.

And rather than "continue investigative reporting," he should just get himself a blog and let the real free-flow of information hold sway.

- CBS is using a slide rath... (Below threshold)

- CBS is using a slide rather than a plank to send Rather to the watery depths of old anchormen. Its doubtful Mapes, or possibly even Hayward would recieve the same deferential treatment so I agree its likely one or both may hop on the "better offer" bus. The point is CBS will orchestrate the entire post election/investigation release saga in damage control mode. The fact that its the King's new clothes to anyone will a pulse never stops the spin. Its appearences stupid! is the guiding creedo....It will be amusing to see how CBS is able to align this "no harm no foul" public face process with any sort of "assigning blame" that may come from the investigation. CBS has been rumored to want to jetisen the News division for awhile anyway, due to low viewer ratings and flagging revenue, all of which has gotten measurebly worse since Memogate, and this may be the way out and the good excuse they need....

Paul,I hope it's o... (Below threshold)

Paul,

I hope it's o.k. that I read part of your post on my Podcast today. Every day I read what people are saying in the right wing blogosphere into an MP3 and make is available via RSS feed from http://feeds.feedburner.com/ripnread. I used your description of the hot radiator cap as an example of what people are saying on the web today. I love the DeSoto. My Grandma's car!

Charlie

Help yourself Charlie.<br /... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Help yourself Charlie.




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