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Schieffer may stick around with Couric

April 19, 2006|Matea Gold | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Bob Schieffer said Tuesday that he's going to end his run as the anchor of "CBS Evening News" around Labor Day and that successor Katie Couric will take over in early September.

Schieffer will leave his post after nearly 18 months helming the third-place "CBS Evening News," the only broadcast to gain viewers this season. But the 69-year-old newsman won't be disappearing from the airwaves.

He will continue moderating "Face the Nation" on Sundays, and CBS has asked him to consider doing regular commentaries and analysis for the evening news.

In an interview, Schieffer said he was intrigued by the offer but had not made up his mind about what he wanted to do. He already writes a weekly commentary for the Sunday program.

"Right now I'm sort of leaning toward the idea, but I'm far from decided," he said. "Three commentaries a week is a lot. It might be more work than an old fellow like me can handle."

Schieffer said he planned to spend the summer mulling his plans, including whether he wanted to retire in February, when he turns 70. "That's one thing I need to think about," he added.

Meanwhile, CBS officials have been working on how to best launch Couric on their airwaves.

After finishing her contract at NBC's "Today" at the end of May, she will officially become a CBS employee in June but will spend the summer meeting with producers to discuss her role on the evening news and "60 Minutes."

Executives have said that the evening newscast will be redesigned to showcase Couric's skills and interests -- including a new set and new graphics -- but will not change radically.

She may do some pieces for the program in advance of her official start date and could have a role on Schieffer's last broadcast.

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