Saying he wants to slow down after two decades at the network, CNN's lead anchor Bernard Shaw is calling it quits when his contract expires in February.
He told CNN founder Ted Turner shortly before Election Day but had signaled during contract negotiation two years ago that this would probably be his last round.
"I have no long list of grievances, no executives I don't like," Shaw said Friday. He wants to take life slower and write, among other things, his autobiography. "If I don't do it now, I'll never get it done." CNN has not named Shaw's replacement.
Shaw has been at CNN since the beginning in 1980, lured away from ABC where he had been covering Capitol Hill. He is among the nation's top black journalists and the only black lead anchor of a nightly newscast. "I've never viewed myself as a black journalist to begin with; I'm a journalist who happens to be black," he said, adding, however, that "I've always wanted more company."
He said his departure is unrelated to CNN's ratings slide over the past two years, which he attributes to added competition from start-up cable news networks. "When there are major news stories, there are more viewers, and our ratings are great," Shaw said. "If FOX and MSNBC didn't exist, I don't think we'd have any problems."