NEW YORK (AP) — Soon-to-retire Bob Schieffer said Thursday it was important for him to be able to walk away from "Face the Nation" while he could still do the job well.
Schieffer, the 78-year-old chief Washington correspondent of CBS News, announced Wednesday at TCU's Bob Schieffer College of Communication that he'll be leaving the job early this summer. Schieffer, who covered the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination while a young reporter, has been with CBS News since 1969.
"I just thought I want to leave this job while I can still do it," Schieffer said. "'Face' is doing really well, CBS is doing well. I see so many guys up on Capitol Hill where staff has to lead them by the hand. They just don't know when to go."
Schieffer said that he may not be able to throw the fastball as hard as he used to, "but I can still throw it pretty good."
Schieffer, who survived a bout with bladder cancer, said he has no health issues. He said he's taking the advice of a friend, former Sen. Sam Nunn, to take the summer off before deciding what he's going to do next.
He said he has a favorite to succeed him, "but I'm not going to tell you." He expects CBS to move swiftly to name a successor so that person can become established in time for the upcoming presidential campaign.
Since he was first hired by a Texas radio station, Schieffer said he's drawn a weekly paycheck as a reporter for 58 years.
"That doesn't matter to everyone else," he said. "But it means a lot to me."