Jim Lehrer Stepping Down From Regular Anchor Role on PBS NewsHour

BY Simon Marks  May 12, 2011 at 10:45 AM EDT

Watch video of Jim Lehrer’s announcement on Thursday’s NewsHour:



Some news today about the PBS NewsHour…

Jim Lehrer has announced that he is taking another step toward ending his 36 years of anchoring or co-anchoring our daily public television news broadcast.

Lehrer said, effective June 6, he will no longer be part of the regular daily anchor rotation team, but he will still appear on many Friday evenings to moderate the weekly analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Lehrer said he will also remain involved in the editorial direction of the PBS NewsHour and the program’s producer, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions.

The decision announced Thursday is part of the program’s latest evolution, a process that began in December 2009 with the successful transition from The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer to the PBS NewsHour. That move created a multi-anchor team that featured Lehrer plus Senior Correspondents Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown, Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner. That team will continue hosting the broadcast on a rotating basis.

The broadcast began in 1975 as The Robert MacNeil Report and went through several transitions to its current form.

Lehrer said his decision was based on:

– The complete integration of the NewsHour’s on-air and online operations, which has been accompanied by measurable growth in the program’s broadcast and digital audiences.

Jim Lehrer– 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.

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

You’ll hear more from Jim himself at the end of Thursday’s edition of the PBS NewsHour.

And you can find full details of today’s announcement in a press release here.