The veteran journalist is the longest-tenured 60 Minutes correspondent

By Aurelie Corinthios
May 17, 2019 11:22 AM
Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft will retire this month, at the end of his 30th season on the CBS newsmagazine.

Kroft, 73, delivered his first report for the broadcast in September 1989 and is the longest-tenured 60 Minutes correspondent.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, Kroft’s final piece will air Sunday on the show’s 51st season finale. Kroft will announce his plan to step down at the conclusion of the broadcast.

Asked how his producers would describe him, Kroft told THR: “I think if you asked them during the scripting process the answer would be unprintable. When the story is finished and screened, they would be more complimentary. I’m not easy.”

“Steve Kroft’s reporting for 60 Minutes has been as important as any correspondent’s in the history of this broadcast,” said executive producer Bill Owens in a statement. “Steve, with his sharp eye for detail, rich writing and demanding journalism, has set the bar at 60 Minutes for three decades.”

“From the moment Steve Kroft arrived at CBS News in 1980, he has been shot out of a cannon and wherever he landed his stories broke news, had depth, and a strong sense of humanity,” added Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president and senior executive producer. “From Central America to a tour of duty in London, and back to New York, his destiny was clear — Kroft’s investigative instincts and ability to unravel the most complex stories made him a perfect fit for the 60 Minutes team.”

Kroft has contributed some of the most memorable stories in the history of 60 Minutes, beginning with his 1992 interview with then-Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary.

His interview with Barack and Michelle Obama in November of 2008 was their first post-election sit-down. According to Kroft’s CBS bio, it was the largest television audience of the year at that point, drawing over 25 million viewers. He also scored Obama’s last interview as president in January 2017.

Another of Kroft’s significant 60 Minutes stories was the only television interview with Woody Allen during his bitter custody battle with Mia Farrow in 1992.

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Kroft’s exit comes after a tenuous period for CBS News. In 2017, multiple women accused CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose of sexual harassment. He was subsequently fired from the network.

Less than a year later, Les Moonves was removed as chairman and CEO of CBS in September amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. (Moonves has called the allegations “untrue” and claimed any sexual encounters were consensual.)

Longtime 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager was also ousted in September following allegations of harassment.

According to THR, 60 Minutes will air a retrospective of Kroft’s 50-year career in journalism in September.

The season finale of 60 Minutes airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on CBS.

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