Mark Shields Will Step Down From His Weekly Role on PBS NewsHour

By A.J. Katz 

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields will step down from the PBS NewsHour’s weekly Shields & Brooks discussion segment.

Shields will step down from his regular role after the Dec. 18 broadcast of the NewsHour, but he’ll remain with newscast as a senior contributor. His Friday successor has yet to be named.

A regular on the NewsHour since 1987, Shields has provided political analysis and commentary on Friday nights and for national conventions and election specials alongside New York Times columnist David Brooks since 2001, and previously David Gergen and the Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot.

“For 33 years, thanks to a large risk taken by Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil in 1987, I’ve had the best job in Washington journalism,” Shields said in a statement. “I am grateful to my PBS colleagues, valued friends, beginning with David Gergen through the last joyful 20 years with David Brooks. To Judy Woodruff — my dear friend since the 1976 Ford-Carter campaign — and to all our dedicated professionals at the PBS NewsHour, this has been, in addition to great fun, the most rewarding professional experience of my, admittedly checkered, career. Finally to the loyal viewers of the NewsHour who have regularly informed, corrected, and encouraged me, thank you.”

Shields’ tenure at the table overlapped with six American presidents and countless political headlines, including the Persian Gulf War, the Iran-Contra affair, 9/11 and the start of the War on Terror. Regular moderators for the weekly segment have included late NewsHour anchor and co-founder Jim Lehrer and PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff.

“It has been one of the great joys of my life at the NewsHour to follow Jim Lehrer in talking with Mark and David every Friday evening,” added Woodruff. “Mark’s encyclopedic knowledge of American politics and history, his sense of humor, fierce love of justice and country, and intolerance for phonies, has earned him a permanent place in our hearts and the hearts of our viewers. We will all miss him terribly and look forward to any future bits of wisdom he wants to drop by to share.”

In addition to his weekly role on NewsHour, from 1988 to 2005, Shields was a moderator and panelist on CNN’s Capital Gang. He was also a regular panelist on Inside Washington, the long-running weekly public affairs show that aired on PBS and ABC, from 2005 – 2013.