Rather Expects to Leave CBS News Before Contract Ends

Jun 15, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather said he expects to leave the CBS News operation to consider other opportunities before his contract expires in November.

“Finishing details are being worked out for me to leave CBS News after 44 years,” Mr. Rather said in a Thursday interview with TelevisionWeek. The situation will be resolved sooner rather than later, he said.

Mr. Rather said he has “opportunities I can’t discuss today” to consider.

A CBS News spokeswoman declined to comment.

Mr. Rather’s departure from CBS follows his decision in March 2005 to step down as anchor of “CBS Evening News” after 24 years leading the broadcast. He left the anchor desk earlier than planned after a story he did for “60 Minutes II” about President George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era National Guard service was discredited.

An outside investigation found no evidence of political bias at CBS News but fallout from the story led to four producers and executives losing their jobs.

Mr. Rather was re-assigned to “60 Minutes” as a full-time contributor after stepping away from the anchor desk but had only seven original stories make it onto the broadcast last season.

Mr. Rather’s departure from the “60 Minutes” roster comes as other contributors arrive, including “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan.

Texas-bred Mr. Rather, who cultivated a courtly and quirky TV persona, joined CBS News as chief of its Southwest bureau in 1962.

After Mr. Rather left “Evening News,” “Face the Nation” moderator Bob Schieffer became the interim anchor. This fall he will turn over “Evening News” to Ms. Couric after improving ratings for the program.