School’s namesake plans retirement

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    The namesake of the Schieffer School of Journalism said Tuesday that he plans to step down as moderator of CBS’s “Face the Nation” next year and spend more time working with TCU students.

    Bob Schieffer, a TCU alumnus, said in a phone interview from his Washington office that he still plans to have a connection with CBS News, but will no longer moderate the Sunday public affairs broadcast – a role he’s filled since May 1991.

    “I’ll continue to stay very active, speaking around the country and doing things of that nature,” Schieffer said, comparing his future relationship with CBS News to that of Tom Brokaw and NBC.

    He said he hopes to add workshops or additional visits to the university to his schedule, while making himself more available to the broadcast journalism students.

    Tommy Thomason, director of the Schieffer School of Journalism, said he and Schieffer have discussed several ways he might be able to work more with the school.

    “Whatever he ends up doing he wants to work more directly with Schieffer School students and that’s the theme he’s been echoing,” Thomason said.

    The journalism school was named after Schieffer in the spring of 2005, and he’s now a distinguished professor of broadcast journalism at the school.

    “Bob has a real heart for working with students,” Thomason said. “He really loves speaking in classes and loves talking to journalism students about their craft and passing along some of the benefits of his experience.”

    Thomason said Schieffer has taken an interest in TCU News Now, the school’s student-operated newscast, which recently began airing four days a week.

    “One of the things that excites me is Bob Schieffer going out with broadcast journalism students occasionally as they do stories around the campus and around Fort Worth,” Thomason said.

    Schieffer said he planned to retire at 70 but instead stuck around as interim anchor of the CBS Evening News, now anchored by Katie Couric.

    After covering every presidential campaign and working as a floor reporter at every Democratic and Republican National Convention since 1972, he said it didn’t take much urging from CBS to convince him to stay for the 2008 campaign.

    “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” Schieffer said.

    Born in Austin, he’s covered Washington for more than 30 years for CBS, earning six Emmy Awards during his career.

    “I don’t want to be like one of those senators who just hangs on and hangs on and they have to haul him off in an ambulance,” Schieffer said.

    Managing editor Bailey Shiffler contributed to this report.