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CNN anchor Bernard Shaw leaving the network

shaw
Shaw on his first day on CNN in 1980, left, and announcing his departure on Friday  

ATLANTA, Georgia -- CNN's Bernard Shaw, the anchor who has been the face of countless major stories throughout the cable network's 20-year history, is "stepping back" and calling it quits.

Shaw, 60, said he wants to spend more time with his family and write books. He told viewers about his decision on Friday's edition of "Inside Politics," the daily show he co-hosts with Judy Woodruff at 5 p.m. EST. Shaw also anchors "CNN World View," the cable network's equivalent to other networks' evening news broadcasts, and "CNN & TIME," a network newsmagazine program.

"You can depend on us (CNN) being here all the time. And please, pass the word."
— Bernard Shaw, 1980

"Harder than entering this business is leaving it and leaving CNN," he said. "But you know, some roses are so fragrant. And as a gardener, I want to grow and smell them more when I'm not writing."

His first project will be an autobiography, Shaw said. He also said he wants to write fiction, a book of essays and a journalism primer.

  GALLERY
20 years of memories
 
 VIDEO
CNN's Bruce Morton looks back at the on-air career of Bernard Shaw, who is leaving the network to write an autobiography

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  AUDIO

Shaw announces to CNN viewers that he is "stepping back"

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Shaw reports from Iraq as the Gulf War begins (January 17, 1991)

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  MESSAGE BOARD
Farewell Bernard Shaw
 

Shaw will leave when his contract expires February 28, but plans to return for occasional on-air work.

Ted Turner, who founded the network, said Shaw "will always have a home at CNN."

He made that home in 1980, during the network's nascent stages. Shaw, who'd worked at CBS and ABC before heading to CNN, said many of his former colleagues "thought I was crazy. I thought it was the last frontier in network television news."

Shaw went on to become a household name with his reports from Baghdad, Iraq, in 1991 at the start of the Persian Gulf War. As bombs exploded outside his hotel window, Shaw coolly brought those images into living rooms across the world.

That was just one of Shaw's accomplishments, added Turner. "Bernie Shaw is one of a handful of CNN `founders' who helped take 24-hour news from an exciting concept 20 years ago to a fact of life for 1 billion people around the globe today," he said.

"Bernie brought credibility," said Tom Johnson, chairman and CEO of the CNN News Group. "He brought a reputation for journalistic independence. He demonstrated that we were quite serious about providing an authentic news service, one that would be highly respected in the United States and in the profession."

Shaw refused to call his announcement a retirement. "I'm not retiring," he said. "I'm stepping back."



RELATED STORIES:
CNN--InDepth: CNN at 20
  •  Bernard Shaw

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