Here is copy from today's news release from CBS announcing that Andy Rooney will step down this Sunday:
will announce on this Sunday’s 60 MINUTES that it will be his last regular
appearance on the broadcast.
has been featured on 60 MINUTES since 1978. He will make the announcement in
his regular essay at the end of the program, his 1097th original essay for 60
MINUTES. It will be preceded by a segment in which Rooney looks back on his
career in an interview with Morley Safer.
nobody like Andy and there never will be. He’ll hate hearing this, but he’s an
American original,” said Jeff Fager, chairman CBS News and the executive
producer of 60 MINUTES. “His contributions to 60 MINUTES are immeasurable; he’s
also a great friend. It’s harder for him to do it every week, but he will
always have the ability to speak his mind on 60 MINUTES when the urge hits
his run on 60 MINUTES in July 1978 with an essay about the reporting of
automobile fatalities on the Independence Day weekend. He became a regular
feature that fall, alternating weeks with the dueling James J. Kilpatrick and
Shana Alexander before getting the end slot all to himself in the fall of 1979.
In Rooney’s first full season as the 60 MINUTES commentator, the broadcast was
the number one program for the first time.
He had been a
contributor to 60 MINUTES since the program’s inception. During the first
season of the broadcast in 1968 he appeared a few times in silhouette with
Palmer Williams, 60 MINUTES’ senior producer, in a short-lived segment called
“Ipso and Facto.” It was one of many experiments the program’s creator, Don
Hewitt, tried as an end for the program. Hewitt settled with the
Point/Counterpoint segment that Kilpatrick and Alexander appeared in for a few
years before finding the perfect coda for 60 MINUTES in Andy Rooney.
produced 60 MINUTES segments for Harry Reasoner during the broadcast’s first
few seasons. He wrote his first television essay, a longer precursor of the
type he does on 60 MINUTES, in 1964, “An Essay on Doors.” From 1962 to 1968, he
collaborated with Reasoner, with Rooney writing and producing and Reasoner
narrating, on such notable CBS News specials as “An Essay on Bridges” (1965),
“An Essay on Hotels” (1966), “An Essay on Women” (1967), “An Essay on Chairs”
(1968) and “The Strange Case of the English Language” (1968). That same year,
he wrote two CBS News specials in the series “Of Black America.”
for “Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed” won him the first of four Emmy
awards. “An Essay on War” (1971), done for PBS, was his first appearance on
television as himself and won Rooney his third Writers Guild Award. Later, he
wrote, produced and narrated a series of broadcasts for CBS News on various
aspects of American life, including “Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington,” for which
he won a Peabody Award, “Andy Rooney Takes Off,” “Mr. Rooney Goes to Work” and
“Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner.”
1979, he wrote a weekly syndicated newspaper column that was recognized by the
National Society of Newspaper Columnists when he was presented with its Ernie
Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2003. That September, he was honored
with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. The Overseas Press Club gave him its
President’s Award in 2010 for his reporting in World War II for The Stars and
Stripes. Rooney joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent
Scouts,” a Top 10 hit that was number one in 1952.
He also wrote
for “The Garry Moore Show” (1959-65), helping it to achieve hit status as a Top
20 program. At the same time, he wrote for CBS News public-affairs broadcasts
such as “The Twentieth Century,” “News of America,” “Adventure,” “Calendar” and
“The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr.” In addition to magazine articles he
wrote earlier in his career, Rooney is the author of 16 books, most recently
Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit, was published by PublicAffairs in
other books are: Air Gunner; The Story of The Stars and Stripes; Conquerors’
Peace; The Fortunes of War; A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney; And More by Andy
Rooney; Pieces of My Mind; Word for Word; Not That You Asked...; Sweet and
Sour; My War; Sincerely, Andy Rooney; Common Nonsense, Years of Minutes and Out
of My Mind. Rooney was born Jan. 14, 1919, in Albany, N.Y. He attended Colgate
University until he was drafted into the Army in 1941. In February 1943, he was
one of six correspondents who flew with the Eighth Air Force on the first
American bombing raid over Germany.
Rooney lives in New York. He
has three daughters and a son.