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Reports: Rather Says He's Leaving CBS

60 Minutes correspondent and former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather has told several publications that he will leave the network before his contract expires in November.

"Finishing details are being worked out for me to leave CBS News after 44 years," Mr. Rather said in a TelevisionWeek interview. He told the industry publication that he expects the negotiations over his departure to be completed quickly.

The 74-year-old Rather told the Los Angeles Times he would have liked to stay at CBS but he does not consider his leaving a disappointment. "If it had worked out for me to be an important contributor to CBS, I would have liked that," he said.

Rather has been working on 60 Minutes since ending his run as the anchor of the Evening News last year.

"The work has not turned out what I hoped it would be, and under those circumstances," he told the Times. "The network executives decided that I should go onto the next step of my work."

CBS officials have declined to comment on the issue.

"They just said, 'Not interested,' " Rather told the Times about his requests to do more stories for the network.

Rather stepped down in March 2005 after 24 years as CBS' anchorman. He took much of the public blame for a discredited 2004 story that questioned President Bush's service in the Texas National Guard, an episode that clouded his final months on the job.

Bob Schieffer has been the interim anchor for the CBS Evening News since 2005.

Katie Couric, who joins the network this summer, will take over the anchor chair in September and will contribute to 60 Minutes.

Rather told both publications that he is pursuing new jobs for a life after CBS. Rather said in TelevisionWeek that there are "opportunities I can't discuss today" to consider.

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