Les Crystal, president of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, will retire effective Aug. 31, but will remain a senior advisor to the company through the end of this year.
Crystal joined the news operation in 1983 after a 20-year career at NBC News, including as executive producer of Nightly News and president of the division.
He expanded the half-hour MacNeil/Lehrer Report to an hour and shepherded it to numerous Emmys and a Peabody award, as well as helping triple funding for the show to $7 million annually, according to the company. He was named president of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions in 2005.
"I am very proud of my contributions to the launch of the Newshour as the country’s first hour-long daily television news broadcast and its continued success as a mainstay of serious journalism," Crystal said in a statement.