After serving as a correspondent on "60 Minutes" since its inception in September 1968, Mr. Wallace said today that he had decided to retire this spring, at the end of the current television season. He said that the move had come at his initiative, and that "CBS is not pushing me."Update: Wallace will stay with the network as Correspondent Emeritus and CBS News has released statements from CBS News President Sean McManus and "60 Minutes" Executive Producer Jeff Fager regarding Wallace's planned departure. From McManus:
"As I approach my 88th birthday, it's become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren't quite what they used to be," said Mr. Wallace, whose birthday is May 9. "The prospect of long flights to wherever in search of whatever are not quite as appealing."
Mike Wallace is one of a few giants of broadcast journalism for whom a list of endless superlatives can't and don't do justice. From his genre-creating early days in radio to his standard-setting work on 60 MINUTES for the past 38 years, and from datelines all over the world, Mike has completely embodied what good, tough, fair journalism should be over the course of his 60-plus years in the business. And he's broken more than his share of big stories along the way. I'm very pleased that he'll remain at CBS News as Correspondent Emeritus. There is no finer journalist from whom everyone in the news business can learn.And Fager:
Mike Wallace as been the heart and soul of this broadcast since he and Don started it almost four decades ago. Millions and millions of Americans have tuned in to 60 MINUTES on Sunday nights over all those years to see him in action and to find out what questions he would be asking each week. I'm glad he'll be around to do an occasional interview. He's had such a powerful impact on all of us who work here, on how we conduct interviews and how we report stories, that there will always be a piece of Mike in everything we do.Share your thoughts about Wallace in the comments section below.