Bob Schieffer wrapped up 46 years at CBS News on Sunday with his final appearance as moderator of “Face the Nation.”
“I’ll be honest, I am going to miss being in the middle of things, but the one thing I will never forget is the trust you placed in me and how nice you were to have me as a guest in your home for so many years,” Schieffer said during his commentary that has been part of the program during his 24-year run. “That meant the world to me and it always will.”
Schieffer, who also served as chief Washington correspondent for CBS News, hands off his “Face the Nation” duties to political director John Dickerson, who starts next week.
Schieffer’s 58 years as a journalist included the police beat at the Fort Worth Telegram. He was on duty Nov. 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated during a visit to Dallas.
Legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite was Schieffer’s hero and on Sunday, he cited that as the reason he joined CBS News in 1969. From the network’s Washington bureau, Schieffer covered the Pentagon, the White House, Congress and the State Department.
He was the Saturday anchor of the “CBS Evening News” from 1973 to 1996 and stepped in to handle the weeknight edition for a year in 2005. He moderated presidential debates in 2008 and 2012.
Schieffer kept his final “Face the Nation” to business as usual during an interview with former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who resisted repeated queries about his intention to run for the Republican nomination for president.
“Unfortunately, you won’t be around for me to announce a possible candidacy,” Bush told Schieffer.
CIA Director John Brennan was his final guest.
Schieffer delivered two personal farewells. He made one after the first half-hour of the program, which is carried by the full lineup of CBS affiliates. Only two-thirds of those stations carry the second half-hour during which Schieffer made his final goodbye.
That final farewell was preceded by a reel of funny on-air moments of Schieffer’s CBS career — dropping a cup of coffee on the morning program, troubles pronouncing foreign names and cracking up over footage of Hillary Rodham Clinton dancing. He spent the final moment of the program with the entire staff of the program on its Washington set, which sent him off with a round of applause.
Schieffer, who is 78, announced his retirement April 8.