Andy Rooney Leaves ‘60 Minutes’ After 33 Years of Commentary

Tuesday, 27 Sep 2011 08:29 PM

(Updates with career history starting in first paragraph.)

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Andy Rooney is leaving CBS Corp.’s “60 Minutes” show after 33 years as a featured commentator on the most-watched prime-time news program in the U.S.

Rooney, 92, will deliver his 1,097th and final essay for the TV magazine show on the Oct. 2 broadcast, New York-based CBS said in a statement today. Rooney has a standing invitation to occasionally return, Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer, said in the statement.

“60 Minutes” will air a career retrospective, with correspondent Morley Safer interviewing the commentator. Rooney, a news correspondent during World War II who joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for the “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” show, has contributed to “60 Minutes” since the program began in 1968.

“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,” Fager said.

CBS, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, gained 18 cents to $22.19 today in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has climbed 16 percent this year.

Rooney began appearing regularly in July 1978 with an essay about the reporting of automobile fatalities on the Independence Day weekend, CBS said. He became a featured contributor later that year, alternating with James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander before getting a slot at the end of each show all to himself in 1979. In Rooney’s first full season as commentator, “60 Minutes” was the No. 1 program for the first time, the network said.

Author, Veteran, Father

Rooney has written magazine articles, as well as 16 books including “Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit” published in 2009, CBS said.

Rooney was born Jan. 14, 1919, in Albany, New York, CBS said. He attended Colgate University until he was drafted into the Army in 1941. He was one of six correspondents who flew with the Eighth Air Force in February 1943 on the first U.S. bombing raid over Germany, according to the network.

The commentator lives in New York and has three daughters and a son, CBS said.

--Editors: Romaine Bostick, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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