Dan Rather to have "total, absolute" control over his new TV show
- From: "stonej" <stonej@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 12 Jul 2006 13:03:54 -0700
In a situation he called "unprecedented" over his storied career,
former CBS anchor Dan Rather will have "total, absolute" control over
his new weekly news show on HDNet this fall.
"The chain of command begins and ends with me," veteran news
journalist Dan Rather said of his upcoming cable news show. (Associated
Press) The longtime journalist and retired CBS anchor spoke about his
new hour-long program Tuesday evening at a meeting of the Television
Critics Association in Pasadena, Calif.
Dan Rather Reports is set to debut in October on HDNet, a high
definition cable channel founded by billionaire entrepreneur Mark
Cuban, who also owns the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.
"I have total, absolute creative and editorial control on this
program," Rather said. "The chain of command begins and ends with me."
The weekly news program will include feature reports, interviews and
Rather proclaimed his "very strong bias towards independent journalism"
and said the show would emphasize "accuracy, fairness and guts."
At its best, news "is a wake-up call, not a lullaby. And I'm not in the
lullaby business," he added.
Rather signed a three-year contract to host and produce Dan Rather
Reports, over which he will have creative and editorial control. His
salary was not disclosed.
The 74-year-old Rather retired from CBS in late June after complaining
he was being squeezed out of the network, with most of his proposals
for assignments rejected. His contract was originally set to expire in
Last year, Rather stepped down as anchor of the network's evening
newscast after controversy erupted over a 60 Minutes report that raised
questions about U.S. President George W. Bush's military service
At the time, Rather fought criticism from conservative critics that he
possesses a liberal bias in his reporting. Though he was eventually
cleared during an independent investigation into the disputed 60
Minutes story, four other CBS employees were ousted after the inquiry.
Cuban said he was not fazed by any controversy over hiring Rather.
"I'm not concerned with it at all because the work will speak for
itself. When Dan goes out there and does his thing, I have complete
confidence in Dan and Dan's work," he said.
Rather also revealed Tuesday that he is interested in other
opportunities in addition to his show on HDNet, which is seen on some
cable and satellite services in the U.S.
America Online is reportedly discussing a future role for Rather within
its internet news service and the veteran journalist has appeared as a
guest, panelist and interview subject on various U.S. networks.
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