Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jim Lehrer To (Semi-) Retire

We have the impending departure of one of our All-Stars to report: as of June 6, Jim Lehrer will be stepping down from his post as the 36-year anchor of PBS' Newshour. He won't be gone entirely, but the 76-year-old Lehrer will take a more limited role in the program, coming in on Fridays to do week-in-review analysis.

It's a sad moment; Lehrer has more than earned his semi-retirement. But he leaves some gigantic shoes to fill, such that you really don't want to see him go. Even if you've never watched him on Newshour, his absence will be felt when he's no longer tapped to moderate Presidential debates. He is the undisputed king of the Presidential debate, with 11 tours of duty on his record, and given our current political climate, finding a man or woman to ably take the helm in his stead will be no easy feat. Not to mention finding a new daily anchor for Newshour; Meet the Press had to deal with similar circumstances upon the sudden death of Tim Russert, and David Gregory has only served to prove just how much Russert is missed.

As our All-Star team only includes active journalists, and he's easing out of 'active' territory, we'll be removing him from the team upon the conclusion of the June 6 broadcast; with no replacement pending, the team will stand at 16 members. He, however, leaves the team with the highest honor. We're gonna miss you, Jim.

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