Network News Anchors Salute Retiring Rooney

by | September 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM | 60 Minutes, TV News

Andy Rooney (Photo: Getty Images)

Andy Rooney (Photo: Getty Images)

All three network newscasts bid farewell to Andy Rooney Tuesday night, after CBS News announced that the 92-year-old curmudgeon would air his last commentary on “60 Minutes” this Sunday.

“A salute from an old pal over here, Andy, to you,” said Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “World News,” according to a roundup on the TV Newser Web site.

On “The NBC Nightly News,” fun-loving anchor Brian Williams channeled Rooney when he said this: “Did you ever notice how some people become more than just television personalities, and instead become more like guests in our homes?”

And on Rooney’s own network, CBS “Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley promoted Rooney’s last-ever “60 Minutes” commentary this Sunday. “That last commentary comes this Sunday on ’60 minutes’ at the end of a broadcast that features a story about Andy’s life and times reported by Morley Safer. We always save the best for last.”

Rooney’s last “60 Minutes” segment will bring the curtain down on a commentating career that began in 1978. At 92, he is the oldest personality on “60 Minutes” and possibly the oldest employee of CBS, period. Former colleague Mike Wallace is now 93 but has been retired for several years. And, at age 79, Safer is now the oldest correspondent on “60.”

Rooney was close to capturing another title too – Oldest Living TV Personality Still Working. But NBC announcer Don Pardo is a year older, 93, and still voicing the opening for “Saturday Night Live.” Other long-timers who are still active on TV include the tireless Betty White, star of “Hot in Cleveland” on TV Land, who’s 89, and actor William Schallert, also 89, who’s seen in a recurring role on “True Blood.”

One of the oldest living TV stars is Harry Morgan, former star of “M*A*S*H” and countless movies, who’s 96, although he hasn’t been seen in movies or on TV in more than 10 years.

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