First On TVNewser: NBC News Tel Aviv bureau chief and correspondent Martin Fletcher is leaving the network, TVNewser has learned. Fletcher has been with NBC for 32 years.
“Frankly, I’m rather shocked at the idea, even though I initiated it!” Fletcher tells TVNewser. “At the same time, I’m looking forward thoroughly to getting on to something I want to do, which is writing my third book, a novel.”
NBC News president Steve Capus tells TVNewser, “While Martin has decided to take some time to focus on his successful career as an author, NBC News will always be his home and we are excited about some future projects that we will work together on. Martin’s role in NBC News’ coverage of the Middle East has been tremendous and while we hate to see him move off the hot seat, we are thankful to be in a position that allows our friend to focus more on his writing, while we continue our exceptionally strong coverage of this region.
“On behalf of all of us at NBC News, thank you Martin for your dedication and friendship through the years.”
NBC says a replacement for Fletcher will be named shortly.
Fletcher recently toured the U.S. to mark the paperback release of his 2008 memoir, Breaking News. His second book, due out next fall with the working title Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of the Nation, looks at the country’s people and places — “Israel as it is,” Fletcher says.
His last day at NBC is Thursday, although his final report may have come on Christmas Day, when he filed from Rome on Pope Benedict XVI.
“I just consider myself a really lucky guy,” Fletcher says about his career. “Both in terms of what I experienced — the places I went to and the things I saw — and the fact that I got out of it alive and healthy…I really do feel just very fortunate that I had a wonderful career where I enjoyed doing what I wanted to do, and always having the sense that I was doing some good along the way. It was a great combination.”
• Earlier: Martin Fletcher On Reporting News “As Close-Up As Possible”