Rather to Step Down at ‘CBS Evening News’

Nov 23, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Dan Rather announced Tuesday that he will step down as anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News” on March 9, 2005, 24 years after his first broadcast as the voice and face of CBS News.

Mr. Rather will continue to work fulltime as a CBS News correspondent for both editions of “60 Minutes” as well as on other assignments for the news division.

In a statement, Mr. Rather indicated it was his decision to leave “Evening News.”

“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,” he said.

“I have always said that I’d know when the time was right to step away from the anchor chair. This past summer CBS and I began to discuss this matter in earnest–and we decided that the close of the election cycle would be an appropriate time. I have always been and remain a ‘hard news’ investigative reporter at heart. I now look forward to pouring my heart into that kind of reporting fulltime.”

Leslie Moonves, co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom and chairman of CBS, said: “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. 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. We congratulate him on all he has accomplished and look forward to the future.”

CBS News President Andrew Heyward, who has worked closely with Mr. Rather since 1981, said: “Dan’s dedication to his craft and his remarkable skills as a reporter are legendary. He has symbolized the ‘CBS Evening News’ for nearly a quarter-century. He’ll continue to apply his talents to everything he does at CBS News. I look forward to saluting his extraordinary tenure in the ‘Evening News’ chair early next year.”

There was no mention of a possible successor.