In Final ’60 Minutes’ Appearance, Steve Kroft Explains Why He’s Retiring (Video)

“I’ve always … had a great amount of respect for people who’ve left their professions when they were on top,” CBS News veteran says

Last Updated: September 8, 2019 @ 4:29 PM

“60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft, who retired from the investigative news show in May after 30 years with the program, said he felt it was the right time to retire because there were “other things” that he still wanted to do.

“I’ve always … had [a] great amount of respect for people who’ve left their professions when they were on top,” Kroft told “60 Minutes” colleague Lesley Stahl, according to a preview of CBS’ retrospective episode — airing on Sunday — about Kroft. “I felt that this was the time for me to go, that there were other things that I wanted to do that I still had the energy to do.”

In a clip from the interview, Stahl commended the retiring journalist for the legacy and impact he’s left on the program.

“When you told me you were going to leave, I thought, of all the important things that you have done for the show, and those stories that you wrote,” Stahl said, “You gave the show a dimension — an important dimension — that we hadn’t had before. We’re really going to miss you.”

The seasoned journalist, who has won nine Emmys and three Peabodys, joined “60 Minutes” in 1989 after a nine-year career at CBS News, serving in various positions, including as a reporter in New York City and a foreign correspondent based in London. At “60 Minutes,” where he filed more than 500 stories, Kroft was responsible for some of the program’s most prominent interviews including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Clint Eastwood, as well as his investigations into the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks, and insider trading happening in Congress.

“You gave us depth. You brought ’60 Minutes’ to places that no other television journalism could ever have gone without you, and I think we still need it,” Stahl added later. “A lot of us are very unhappy that you’re leaving, and we don’t think 74 is old — some of us, anyway.”

“Thank you, that means a lot to me to hear you say that,” Kroft responded. “’60 Minutes’ will be fine. Just fine.”

The episode airs on CBS at 7 p.m. ET this Sunday. Watch the clip above.