‘Face the Nation’ Host Bob Schieffer Announces Retirement from CBS

By Mark Joyella 

CBS News “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer, speaking–and visibly emotional–tonight at the Schieffer Symposium in Fort Worth, announced he would step down from CBS News. “Because this is where my professional career began, this is where I wanted all of you to be the first to know, this summer, I am going to retire,” he said at Texas Christian University.

TCU re-named its school of journalism for Schieffer in 2013.

Schieffer, 78, is a former anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” and has been at CBS News for 46 years:


He has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon as well as most of those who sought the office. Schieffer most recently interviewed President Obama last November.

Schieffer also moderated three debates for the Presidential Commission on Debates in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Prior to joining CBS in 1969, Schieffer was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram where he was the first reporter from a Texas newspaper to report from Vietnam.

Schieffer has won virtually every award in broadcast journalism, including eight Emmys, the overseas Press Club Award, the Paul White Award presented by the TV News Directors Association, the Edward R. Murrow Award given by Murrow’s alma mater Washington State University and in 2008 he was named a living legend by the Library of Congress. In 2013, he was inducted into the National Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame along with CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, actor Ron Howard, sportscaster Al Michaels and writer/producer Dick Wolf.

In 2010, Schieffer joked about retirement: “I keep saying I’m going to retire, and then something happens, and I never do. I’m not!” he says with a laugh. He says he has a long-term, “open-ended” contract, and “so I’m just going to keep doing Face the Nation as long as they want me to do it.”

Those repeated–but never acted upon–references to retirement figure in CBS News boss David Rhodes email to staff tonight:

Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 8:43 PM
To: @CND News
Subject: Important Note from David Rhodes Regarding Bob Schieffer

Bob Schieffer will retire this summer. Our Chief Washington Correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation made the announcement here in Fort Worth tonight at TCU’s Schieffer College of Communication.

I know what you’re thinking: Bob’s thought about retiring before, is he really retiring now? And of course with his long connection to CBS News we’d be happy to learn that he’s not leaving now– or that he can be seen by our viewers in the future.

But speaking at the annual Schieffer Symposium here with colleagues Gayle King, Holly Williams, and a large audience of students and friends from his home community, Bob said he wanted to end it where it began. He graduated from TCU and before long went to work at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Bob’s been with CBS since 1969… Chief Washington Correspondent since 1982… and host of Face the Nation since 1991. That broadcast is in its 60th year and has never been better or more powerful, ranking consistently number one this season.

He’s been an inspiration and a mentor to so many colleagues– and frankly, to me. You could see at TCU tonight how that inspiration extends to a wider community of reporters and editors and academics… Not to mention the example he sets as a father and husband with his wife Pat and his whole family here and elsewhere.

It’s not over yet. Bob will be on the air this Sunday from the Washington bureau. And for a number of Sundays to come. We’ll have more to report soon about the plans for this important broadcast and for the Washington bureau as a whole. An important 2016 campaign season is beginning. But this is Bob’s night and I hope we can all celebrate with him the remarkable achievement which is his career here at CBS.