Jim Lehrer to depart anchor desk at “PBS NewsHour”

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Jim Lehrer, anchor of PBS NewsHour and its former incarnations for 36 years, is stepping away from the weeknight broadcast, the Washington Post is reporting. Lehrer, 76, said he would leave as anchor on June 6 but continue to appear on Fridays to moderate the show’s weekly news analysis segment featuring a panel of journalists. He will also continue to be involved with the program’s producer, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, based in Arlington, Va.

In a statement, Lehrer said the timing was based on “the complete integration of the NewsHour’s on-air and online operations” (Current, Jan. 11, 2010) and his “complete confidence in the current NewsHour team, both on-and-off-camera, to continue producing the nightly program and its companion website as a haven for ‘MacNeil/Lehrer Journalism’: serious, fair-minded daily reporting steeped in the traditions of the broadcast’s co-founders.”

“I have been laboring in the glories of daily journalism for 52 years, 36 of them here at the NewsHour and its earlier incarnations,” Lehrer said, “and there comes a time to step aside from the daily process, and that time has arrived.”

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