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article imageAndy Rooney to exit '60 Minutes'

By Andrew Moran     Sep 28, 2011 in Entertainment
New York - Andy Rooney, the well-known curmudgeon on CBS News' "60 Minutes," will end his regular role on the show and leave the network he has been a part of since the late 1940s. Rooney will make the official announcement Sunday.
Since 1978, American radio and television personality Andy Rooney has entered the homes of millions of Americans and Canadians and usually delivering commentary on pop culture, contemporary society and what bothers him.
After more than three decades, Rooney has decided to end his regular role on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and begin his retirement, according to the network. CBS said in a news release that Rooney is set to make the official announcement Sunday during his 1,097th original essay.
The 92-year-old Rooney will also reminisce about his career in an interview with Morley Safer.
“There's nobody like Andy and there never will be. He'll hate hearing this, but he's an American original,” said chairman of CBS News and “60 Minutes” executive producer, Jeff Fager. “His contributions to '60 Minutes' are immeasurable; he's also a great friend. It's harder for him to do it every week, but he will always have the ability to speak his mind on '60 Minutes' when the urge hits him.”
When he first started with the program, he discussed the reporting of automobile accidents and deaths during the Independence Day weekend. Following that, he became featured and shared broadcasts with Shana Alexander and James J. Kilpatrick. He finally earned the end slot to the program by himself by 1979. The broadcast became No. 1 for the first time.
Professional Troubles
Although Rooney has led a successful and celebrated life, he has got himself into trouble on several occasions. In 1990, CBS suspended Rooney for three months without pay for his comments that touched upon homosexuality.
“Too much alcohol, too much food, drugs, homosexual unions, cigarettes [are] all known to lead... to premature death,” said Rooney.
Two years later, he got into hot water again when he said it was “silly” for Native Americans to complain about professional sports teams names, such as the Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Indians.
Another two years went by and Rooney was harshly criticized when he was upset Richard Nixon’s death was outshined by the death of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.
“A lot of people would like to have the years left that he threw away. What's all this nonsense about how terrible life is? I'd love to relieve the pain you're going through by switching my age for yours. What would all these young people be doing if they had real problems like a Depression, World War II or Vietnam? If he applied the same brain to his music that he applied to his drug-infested life, it's reasonable to think that his music may not have made much sense either.”
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