By Kevin McCauley
Jim Lehrer, 76, is stepping down June 6 as daily anchor of the "PBS Newshour" after a 36-year run at public TV.
He will appear each Friday to moderate the weekly news analysis of New York Times columnist David Brooks and syndicated writer Mark Shields. Lehrer will still help guide the editorial direction of NewsHour and its producer MacNeil/Lehrer Productions.
He said it’s time to step down with the completion of the integration of its online and on-air operations.
Lehrer expressed complete confidence in the program’s current line-up of Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown, Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner to produce “serious and fair-minded reporting.”
The PBS NewsHour, which was called “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer until December 2009, was launched in 1975 as “The Robert MacNeil Report” with Lehrer as D.C. correspondent.
Lehrer believes the removal of his name from the program helped PBS enhance its brand in the public mind and “recognized the unique freedom and support public broadcasting gave us in creating an alternative form of television journalism and building an audience for it.”