Ray Suarez resigning from PBS NewsHour

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This item has been updated and reposted with additional information.

Ray Suarez, chief national correspondent for PBS NewsHour, is resigning after 14 years with the program, effective Oct. 25.

Executive Producer Linda Winslow told the staff in a memo late this afternoon that Suarez is leaving to “pursue several other ventures,” including writing a book.

Suarez

Suarez

The news comes three days after NewsHour founders Jim Lehrer and Robin MacNeil announced they intended to transfer ownership of the program to presenting station and producing partner WETA in Arlington, Va.

“At the NewsHour, Ray has been a member of the Senior Correspondent team that has helped us cover an enormous array of topics (he even added football to his repertory this week) and story developments over the years,” Winslow wrote in the memo, adding: “My Inbox is filled with rave reviews of his performances written by delighted station executives around the PBS universe.”

Suarez joined NewsHour in October 1999 from NPR, where he had hosted the call-in news show Talk of the Nation since 1993. Previously he reported from Los Angeles for CNN, produced for the ABC Radio Network in New York, and reported for CBS Radio in Rome.

At NewsHour he lead global health coverage, reporting from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Suarez also narrated, anchored and reported many documentaries for public radio and television, and authored several books, including Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation, published in September as a companion volume to the PBS series.

In 2010 Suarez was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Recently, he was deeply involved with the CPB-backed American Graduate dropout prevention project, moderating town hall meetings nationwide and reporting education stories in the field and studio.

Winslow noted Suarez’s dedication to his craft. “He never complains about slogging through mud and swarms of mosquitoes in search of a story, or traveling in coach for sixteen hours, or not having had a decent meal in 24 hours,” she wrote to colleagues. “And while I don’t know if there’s a connection, he was hardly ever sick or MIA when we’ve needed him. In short, I wish there were more people like Ray Suarez in this world — and I, for one, am going to miss him very much.”

  • Lynda Weisberg Swanson

    Ah, Ray Suarez! ALways such a terrific reporter…Huge loss! Hope he is choosing something that is even better.

    • celseaux

      best wishes to Mr. Suarez in all his future endeavors. he has been wonderful on PBS

  • Frank Santiago

    PBS leap into the 21st Century as Ray Suarez step onto its spotlight. He was especially intelligent and dedicated to getting to the truth on Friday evenings with the Political Roundup. Now that he is leaving (actually he’s been absent for some time now from PBS Nightly News) PBS just slipped back a decade or two.
    There can never be another persona like Ray’s. Let’s hope PBS doesn’t lose its next “ahead of his/her time” correspondent, ahead of their time to exit.
    God bless Ray. Your intellect will be missed on PBS.

  • mj

    Well done sir……every story you tell seems to go well beyond informing us. You teach us lessons, make us a little better and inspire us. THANK YOU

  • Between changing the rotating anchors to Judy and Gwen and MacNeil and Lehrer transferring ownership to WETA, the NewsHour is having some serious problems. I, for one, miss the rotating anchors, I think the current setup is a huge mistake and may be the end of the show. Maybe Ray saw the writing on the wall and decided to bail before the end. I’ve been watching the show since it started during Watergate and it seems to me the high water mark post Lehrer was the rotating anchors, Hari reading the news, and Kwami on the hill.

    I wish Ray the best wherever he ends up (I was a fan of his on Talk of the Nation as well) and I hope/pray the NewsHour will survive, hopefully not in its current state.