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Ted Koppel Leaving ABC News

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Ted Koppel Leaving ABC News

Old 03-31-05, 12:34 PM
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Ted Koppel Leaving ABC News

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(Thursday, March 31 09:56 AM)
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) Ted Koppel, whose career as host of "Nightline" spans more years than any of the comics who currently host late-night shows opposite him, will leave ABC News later this year.

The veteran newsman, who's been with ABC since 1963, told ABC News president David Westin that he won't seek a renewal of his current contract with the network, which expires Dec. 4. Koppel's departure will end a run of more than 25 years as the anchor and managing editor of "Nightline."

The show's executive producer, Tom Bettag, is also departing.

"Ted and I have discussed a number of options under which he might have remained at 'Nightline' or in some other capacity at ABC News, but Ted believes this is the right time for him to leave," Westin says in a memo sent to ABC News staff and posted on Jim Romenesko's media blog. "As much as I will regret his leaving, he is firm in his conviction, and I respect his decision."

Westin says he's "optimistic" that "Nightline" will continue after Koppel's departure, but ABC has made rumblings in the past about replacing the program with an entertainment show that would compete directly with NBC's "Tonight Show" and CBS's "Late Show." The network's late-night talk show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live," currently follows "Nightline" at 12:05 a.m. ET.

Prior to launching Kimmel's show, ABC tried to lure David Letterman away from CBS to replace "Nightline." Letterman declined the offer, ultimately signing a new five-year deal with CBS, while saying he believed Koppel "at the very least deserves the right to determine his own professional future."

"Nightline," which grew out of Koppel's nightly reports on the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, formally launched in March 1980. The show is known for the depth with which it covers stories, spending much more time on a subject than the network evening news or cable newscasts often do.

The 65-year-old Koppel's departure from ABC won't mean his retirement. He and Bettag are likely to pursue other projects together.


Chris
Old 03-31-05, 04:00 PM
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That sucks. I actually liked Ted.
Old 03-31-05, 04:56 PM
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I'll miss the hair.
Old 03-31-05, 06:20 PM
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Great news guy. Nightline is so much better with him than with any of his part-time replacements.
Old 03-31-05, 06:34 PM
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Damn! I love me some Ted Koppel.
Old 04-01-05, 04:07 AM
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i always liked it when chris bury does the show, but it will be a huge loss. i tivo this show every night and its sad to hear him go. i was reading a couple of weeks ago that they were contemplating a switch between kopel and stephanopoulos on nightline and This Week, guess that wont be happening now...

Originally Posted by TheMadMonk
Great news guy. Nightline is so much better with him than with any of his part-time replacements.

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