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.
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.”