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After 36 years, Jim Lehrer signs off at PBS

Friday, June 3, 2011

image Maybe not since Walter Cronkite said “and that’s the way it is” for the last time after 19 years at the “CBS Evening News” has there been as significant a torch-passing as when “PBS NewsHour” anchor Jim Lehrer does his last anchor broadcast tonight.

Add Lehrer: The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik interviews Lehrer and reflects on his legacy. As for the NewsHour succession plan, that appears to have been well-thought-out:

In December, 2009, the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" was renamed the "PBS NewsHour," and he was joined by a panel of anchors that includes Gwen Ifill, Ray Suarez, Jeffrey Brown, Judy Woodruff and Margaret Warner. That quintet remains in place.

"I kind of decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to consider kind of gliding away so to speak," Lehrer says. "And, you know, there can be all kinds of false drama involved in who replaces Anchorperson A and Anchorperson B, and I wanted to make damn sure that this did not happen in our situation. So, I kind of prepared the way, the glidepath."

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