UPDATE: 8/16, 2:15 PM: “The McLaughlin Group” announced Tuesday via Facebook that John McLaughlin has passed away at age 89. Read more here.
Host, creator, and executive producer of “The McLaughlin Group” John McLaughlin missed his first show in 34 years.
Sunday’s episode of “The McLaughlin Group” began with a written message to viewers from McLaughlin, which attributed his absence to illness.
“As the panel’s recent absences attest, I am under the weather,” the message read. “The final issue of this episode has my voice, but please forgive me for its weaker than usual quality. Yet my spirit is strong and my dedication to this show remains absolute!”
Though the show’s producers and panelists did not disclose details about McLaughlin’s illness, the episode opened and closed with messages dedicated to its central personality.
“On behalf of the panel we want to say to John we’re thinking of you and you have our very best,” Tom Rogan said at the end of the show. Rogan was joined on the panel by program regulars Pat Buchanan, Clarence Page and Eleanor Clift.
Producers for “The McLaughlin Group” could not immediately be reached for comment.
McLaughlin, 89, has been the host of the syndicated program since 1982. In addition to “The McLaughlin Group,” McLaughlin was the host of “John McLaughlin’s One on One” between 1984 and 2013.
“The McLaughlin Group,” which features a roundtable discussion with a panel of pundits about current political affairs, airs nationally on PBS member and CBS-owned TV stations.