The 1,097th essay will mark Andy Rooney's final appearance on "60 Minutes". CBS News announced on Tuesday, September 27 that the 92-year-old will announce his retirement as a regular contributor at the end of the Sunday (October 2) broadcast. The essay will be "preceded by a segment in which Rooney looks back on his career in an interview with Morley Safer."
"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," Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS News and executive producer of the show the program, said of Rooney. "There's nobody like Andy and there never will be."
People close to Rooney said his move is not being characterized in terms of a formal retirement because of the honored place he has occupied on the show. However, it is unlikely that he will make many appearances in the future if there is any. The honoree of 2003 Emmy's Lifetime Achievement Award himself said last year, "I will work until I drop."
It is unclear whether CBS News will replace Rooney. A spokesperson for the network has said neither the executives nor the commentator would talk further about the matter until he delivers his final words on the Sunday broadcast.
Rooney began speaking his mind on "60 Minutes" since 1978 in a segment titled "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney". In 1990, he was suspended by CBS for three months after he was quoted making unfavorable gay remark. After only four weeks without him, the newsmagazine lost 20 percent of its audience.