Ted Koppel to step down from 'Nightline'

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Ted Koppel announced he plans to quit as host of the 'Nightline' television program after his contract runs out December 4, 2005.

Executives at ABC are considering canceling the Nightline program after his departure or possibly changing the show to a live, hour-long format.

Nightline has fallen behind in rankings compared with programs such as "Meet the Press" and "Face the Nation". Network news in general is losing ground in recent years to cable news, talk shows and the Internet. Television anchormen who have left in the past several months include Tom Brokaw of NBC and Dan Rather of CBS. The only other major television anchorman of the past few decades who remains in his chair is Peter Jennings, who has been on ABC's "World News Tonight" since 1982.

Koppel began working for ABC in 1963, serving as a foreign correspondent for the network. He started working for the Nightline program in March 1980. The program, started in 1979, was created to provide nightly news updates on the Iran hostage crisis.

Koppel is 65 years old and has a daughter named Andrea Koppel, who is the CNN correspondent to the Department of State. He says he has no plans to retire, but he is looking into other projects. Koppel received numerous awards for journalism, including 41 Emmy awards.