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60 Minutes Is Losing a Long-Timer

Steve Kroft retiring after Sunday's show
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2019 4:32 PM CDT
Steve Kroft works in his "60 Minutes" office in New York. Sunday will be his last show.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – After 30 seasons and nearly 500 stories, Steve Kroft will announce his retirement from 60 Minutes at the end of Sunday's broadcast. The program will air a segment on the career of Kroft, 73, in September, per the Hollywood Reporter. Lesley Stahl, 77, who joined the program in 1991, will become its longest-serving correspondent. Kroft is leaving at a younger age than some former colleagues; Mike Wallace was nearly 90, and Morley Safer was 84. Kroft has cut back already, filing eight to 10 stories per season the past couple of years. He exits Sunday with a piece about a money-laundering scheme. Executive producer Bill Owens said Kroft set the bar at 60 Minutes with his "sharp eye for detail, rich writing and demanding journalism," per USA Today.

Kroft's memorable interviews included one with Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1992, in which Bill Clinton became visibly irked when Kroft asked if their marriage was "an arrangement." His wife then invoked Tammy Wynette in discussing their marriage, and, to cap the interview off, a light fixture fell, prompting the Clintons to jump off the sofa. Kroft interviewed Barack Obama 16 times, per the Reporter. He brought 60 Minutes its only interview of a serial killer, when he spoke to former nurse Charles Cullen, thought to have killed hundreds of people. But Kroft's strength was investigations. His team uncovered Saddam Hussein’s hidden financial assets, estimated to be billions of dollars; sparked the passage of a law with a story on insider trading in Congress; and discovered the theft of $500 million by Iraqis entrusted by the US with refitting the nation's army. (Read more 60 Minutes stories.)

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