Jim Lehrer to Step Down From ‘PBS NewsHour’ This Week

After 36 years hosting the program, Jim Lehrer is mostly stepping down from his nightly role on PBS NewsHour.

The New York Daily News notes that the program is changing to add more Internet-based news, and 77-year-old Lehrer seemed to speak to that when he said:

“People still want the news aggregated for them,” he says. “Most people don’t want to sit in front of a computer all day. It’s one thing to have access to the news there, it’s another thing to have it available in a digestible form.”

Lehrer was optimistic about the role of public broadcasting and the slant-free news it tends to present. (Or, as the GOP sees it, “dangerously liberal.”) The veteran journalist and frequent moderator of presidential debates did, however, cede that traditional journalism is no longer most viewers’ first exposure to a story:

“We used to think of ourselves as the first draft of history,” he says. “With the speed information gets out there now, we’re the second or even third draft.”

Lehrer plans to stay on to “moderate the Friday analysis segment with Mark Shields and David Brooks.”