ABC's Donaldson to Retire Next Week

Bellowing newscaster is 'sweetheart underneath'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2009 11:33 AM CST
ABC newscaster Sam Donaldson clowns around with the media on the red carpet at Ford's Theatre for its reopening and the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln's birth, Feb. 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – Sam Donaldson is calling it quits after a 41-year career distinguished by a booming voice and tough demeanor, Howard Kurtz reports in the Washington Post. “I guess it’ll be on my tombstone,” Donaldson muses. “He yelled at Ronald Reagan.” Donaldson became famous for shouting questions at the Gipper on the White House lawn in the ‘80s, before cable news made confrontational reporting the standard.

Recently, Donaldson has been co-hosting ABC’s Web show, “talking to an audience of dozens,” he jokes. Were he on a higher-profile show—something like 60 Minutes—the 74-year-old says he might stick around, but as it stands, he didn’t want to hang on too long. “If they were going to push me,” he says, “at least I jumped before they did.”