Local Reaction to Dan Rather Stepping Down

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After Dan Rather's surprise announcement that he is retiring this March, A lot of people are talking.

"That's unfortunate, he's an icon for CBS, he held the job longer than Walter Cronkite," says a Bryan viewer, David Gest.

Embattled anchorman Dan Rather will leave the post he's held for nearly a quarter of a century early next year and there's no shortage of opinions about his departure. Many Brazos Valley residents weren't surprised to hear the news that Dan Rather will be stepping down as anchorman of the CBS Evening News.

Danielle Mabrey says, "I think in due time, everybody has to retire. Maybe now he can have an opportunity to expand in other areas, other than just reporting at the desk."

Rather is one legend who followed another filling the seat of Walter Cronkite 24 years ago, once called the most trusted man in America.

Bobby Crabtree states, "I'm glad to see it. I think he was a bit out of touch with what mainstream America was believing. A lot of his reporting was biased."

The Texas native made his career at CBS, covering the assassination of president JFK and wars from Vietnam to Iraq. But it was the fake documents about President Bush's war record that have people wondering, was Rather really ready to leave the seat?

"What happened with the memos about the 60 Minutes story certainly cast a shadow on an illustrious career as a TV newsman, and I think he's picking the best moment for Dan Rather to leave," Randall Sumpter says.

Sumpter is a Communications professor at Texas A&M. While Rather's retirement wasn't a surprise, he says Rather's replacement may be. John Roberts is on the short list, but Sumpter says he wouldn't be surprised if CBS went in a different direction and chose a woman to sit on the anchor desk.

Sumpter adds, "I think it will be interesting to see how much experimenting CBS is willing to do."

Whatever the decision, many local viewers hope whoever is chosen will help CBS News' tarnished reputation.