TV newsman has presided over “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney” since 1978
Starting next week, fans of curmudgeonly observations on contemporary topics will have to look elsewhere for their fix.
Andy Rooney is stepping down from his regular duties as end-of-episode commentator on "60 Minutes," CBS announced Tuesday.
Rooney, 92,had presided over the "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" since 1978.
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Rooney will officially announce his retirement from the segment on Sunday's "60 Minutes," which will mark his 1,097th essay for the weekly program. Rooney's announcement will be preceded by a segment in which Rooney will look back at his career in an interview with "60 Minutes" anchor Morley Safer.
Rooney has been a contribution to the show since its inception in 1968.
A World War II Army veteran who flew in America's first bombing raid over Germany, Rooney began his career with CBS in 1949, as a writer for "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts," moving on to write for "The Garry Moore Show" from 1959 to 1962. His relationship with "60 Minutes" began with a short-lived segment called “Ipso and Facto.”
Rooney's essays for "60 Minutes" began in July 1978, with a piece reflecting on the reporting of traffic fatalities on Independence Day weekend, and became a regular fixture that fall. At first alternating weeks with James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander, Rooney was given the end-of-show segment in the fall of 1979.
In his "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" segment, Rooney typically came across as ornery in his critiques of modern trends and developments — though he laced his cranky observations with a dose of humor.
“There’s nobody like Andy and there never will be. He’ll hate hearing this, but he’s an American original,” "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager said of Rooney in the network's announcement. “His contributions to '60 Minutes' are immeasurable; he’s also a great friend."
Fager also hinted that Rooney will contribute to the series irregularly.
"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,” Fager said.
In addition to his television work, Rooney has penned 16 books, including "The Fortunes of War," "And More by Andy Rooney," "Common Nonsense" and "Not That You Asked…"