Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Good evening, this is Dan Rather Be Playing Golf On Maui

CBS just announced that Evening News anchor Dan Rather will retire in March.

The network will likely attempt to dress this move as a golden handshake rather than an unceremonious shove out the door. But don't be fooled. Rather's departure has been inevitable since the notorious 60 Minutes debacle over apparently forged documents related to President Bush's National Gaurd service (or absence therefrom). Rather walked away from that embarrassing business wiping enough egg from his face to make omelettes for the entire CBS News staff. And if there's anything network executives hate as much as losing money, it's public humiliation. Therefore, it's "So long, Dan, and don't let some lunatic muttering 'What's the frequency, Kenneth?' hit you in the butt on your way out."

It'll be interesting to see who replaces Cowboy Dan at the anchor desk. Unlike NBC, which moves Brian Williams into Tom Brokaw's chair on December 1, CBS doesn't have a ready-made successor for Rather lurking in the wings.

Given that he's already running the CBS programming department anyway, they might as well give the job to Jerry Bruckheimer.

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