Jim Lehrer Retires From 'NewsHour' Anchor Desk After 36 Years
The 76-year-old journalist said June 6 would be his last day, but that he would continue returning to the show on Fridays to host a news panel. He is the longest-serving news anchor in TV history.
"I have been laboring in the glories of daily journalism for 52 years ... 36 of them here at the NewsHour and its earlier incarnations," he told his staff. "There comes a time to step aside from the daily process, and that time has arrived."
Lehrer teamed up with Robert MacNeil in 1975 to create 'The MacNeil/Lehrer Report,' a half-hour news program that eight years later became 'The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.' In 1995, MacNeil departed and it became Lehrer's show to run.
The title was shortened to 'PBS NewsHour' in 2009 when they added a multi-anchor format that included Jeffrey Brown, Gwen Ifill, Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner and Judy Woodruff.
PBS brass have had nothing but fine things to say about Lehrer, praising his leadership.
"I am grateful to Jim for the extraordinary contributions he's made to public television," said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. "Jim has built a talented team and we're very proud to be the home of PBS NEWSHOUR. As Jim begins the next chapter of his career, we are grateful for his ongoing leadership and his continued presence on Friday nights."
Aside from being out front at 'NewsHour,' Lehrer is also known to millions of Americans as a go-to moderator of presidential debates and the author of at least 20 novels and couple memoirs.