Charles Osgood, who has said "good morning" to his audience every Sunday for 22 years, is about to say "goodbye" as host of CBS News Sunday Morning in September. He announced his scheduled Sept. 25 farewell on Sunday's edition, reports CBS News. That broadcast will be a tribute to Osgood's legacy on and off Sunday Morning, notes the AP. But after that, he won't be absent from the program, he assured viewers, explaining he will be on hand for occasional appearances. "For years now, people—even friends and family—have been asking me why I continue doing this, considering my age," the 83-year-old Osgood said. "It's just that it's been such a joy doing it! It's been a great run, but after nearly 50 years at CBS ... the time has come." And then he sang a few wistful bars from a favorite folk song: "So long, it's been good to know you. I've got to be driftin' along."
Potential successors under consideration are reportedly Sunday Morning colleagues Jane Pauley, Anthony Mason, and Lee Cowan. Meanwhile, the program continues to be a ratings leader, with a year-to-date audience of nearly 6 million viewers. "(Osgood) has one of the most distinctive voices in broadcasting, guiding each broadcast, making sure the words were just right, and being a calming, reassuring presence to our viewers," said CBS News president David Rhodes. He leaves a job only one other person has held since Sunday Morning premiered in 1979. Charles Kuralt retired in 1994 after hosting for 15 years. Osgood seemingly had an impossible act to follow. But with his folksy erudition and slightly bookish, bow-tied style, he immediately clicked with viewers who continued to embrace the program as an unhurried TV magazine that, as before, was defined only by its host's, and staff's, curiosity.