Andy Rooney stepping down from 60 Minutes–sort of


He’ll still have an office there–of course. After not being present for the show’s 44th season premiere, questions began to surface about why the 92-year old icon was MIA. It turns out Rooney will announce on this Sunday’s 60 Minutes that it will be his last regular appearance on the broadcast. Rooney has been featured on the CBS newsmagazine since 1978.

He’ll make the formal announcement in his regular essay at the end of the program, his 1097th original essay for the show. It will be preceded by a segment in which Rooney looks back on his career in an interview with Morley Safer. TV Newser originally reported the story.

“There’s 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. “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 him.”

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.”

Rooney is also the author of 16 books.

RBR-TVBR observation: We wouldn’t call this a retirement announcement, just added vacation time. Let’s face it—CBS will put the legendary voice in front of the 60 Minutes camera whenever he wants to be there, for as long as he lives—which may well be another 92 years.