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CBS News’ Bob Schieffer Retiring

“Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer has announced he is retiring, CBS News confirmed on Wednesday, in a move that will open a seat at one of the longest-running programs on television.

The journalist, who has worked in the industry for more than 50 years — 46 of them with CBS — will say goodbye to the newsroom this summer. He made the announcement in Fort Worth at TCU’s Schieffer College of Communication, where he was speaking at its annual Schieffer Symposium.

“Bob’s been with CBS since 1969… chief Washington correspondent since 1982 … and host of ‘Face the Nation’ since 1991. That broadcast is in its 60th year and has never been better or more powerful, ranking consistently No. 1 this season,” CBS News president David Rhodes said in a statement. “He’s been an inspiration and a mentor to so many colleagues — and frankly, to me. You could see at TCU tonight how that inspiration extends to a wider community of reporters and editors and academics … Not to mention the example he sets as a father and husband with his wife Pat and his whole family here and elsewhere.”

But, Rhodes continued, “It’s not over yet. Bob will be on the air this Sunday from the Washington bureau. And for a number of Sundays to come. We’ll have more to report soon about the plans for this important broadcast and for the Washington bureau as a whole. An important 2016 campaign season is beginning. But this is Bob’s night, and I hope we can all celebrate with him the remarkable achievement which is his career here at CBS.”

Schieffer, who has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon, has been talking retirement for awhile. In January 2008, he said he would step down after the inauguration of a new president. Last November, he interviewed President Obama.

The announcement will inevitably start a round of jockeying for the anchor chair at “Face the Nation.” The show is typically the most watched of TV’s Sunday public-affairs programs, but ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos has made strides over the months in attracting younger viewers while NBC’s “Meet the Press” has experienced new momentum since Chuck Todd took over hosting duties for that program last year.

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