The Koppel Era, Part I

koppelweb.jpgSaddle up folks, the Koppel Era retrospective train is gathering steam.

Beginning the first of what we assume will be many a piece celebrating the end of the Ted Koppel‘s quarter century on the only late-night news show, Howard Kurtz looks at the legacy of the Nightline host as he prepares to step down later this month to pursue his own documentary projects:

Telling a story about Koppel’s feelings on the war on Iraq, Kurtz opines, “It is classic Koppel: tough-minded, eloquent, focused on world affairs and sometimes, it seems, conducting his own foreign policy. As he prepares to relinquish the helm of the ABC program he launched 26 years ago, when his focus was entirely on Iran and the Americans held hostage there, it is hard to avoid the end-of-an-era language that followed the departures of Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather and the death of Peter Jennings.”

> Koppel’s last show (just before Thanksgiving) will focus on Morrie Schwarz and the author of Tuesdays with Morrie, which Koppel told Washingtonian was his favorite interview from a career with many possibilities.

> Meanwhile the staff shake-ups and shake-outs are continuing in the Nightline bureau here in Washington. Our cousin, TVNewser, has pulled together some threads about three lay-offs of floor managers in the D.C. bureau.