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Bill Moyers leaving ‘Now’

He's leaving the PBS program to write a book on Lyndon Johnson
/ Source: The Associated Press

Bill Moyers, whose weekly magazine “Now” on PBS has capped a 30-year career in TV journalism, is leaving the broadcast after the November elections.

His next venture: Writing a long-planned book about Lyndon Johnson, whom he served before and during Johnson’s presidency.

“It isn’t because I feel old,” Moyers, 69, told The Associated Press of his decision to move on, which was made official Thursday. “It’s because I feel compelled to do something else now, that only I can do — which is that book.”

Moyers has been host of the program as well as an executive editor and frequent reporter since its premiere in January 2002.

Airing Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET on most PBS stations, “Now” is a diverse mix of reports and in-studio interviews whose aim, in Moyers’ words, “is to tell stories nobody else is telling and put on people who have no forum elsewhere.”

Among those stories other news shows have routinely dismissed: the threat of media consolidation, which “Now” has covered steadily.

The weekly audience for “Now with Bill Moyers” averages 2.6 million viewers.

When Moyers steps down, it will end more than 30 years’ almost continuous presence on TV in news and public affairs, beginning on PBS in the early 1970s with “Bill Moyers’ Journal.” Then, during a decade at CBS News, he was a commentator and chief correspondent for “CBS Reports.”

Before he began “Now” with his wife, Judith Davidson Moyers, the couple spent 15 years making long-form documentaries for PBS on such wide-ranging subjects as campaign corruption, the power of myth, drug addiction and modern dance.

Among his honors are multiple Emmy, Peabody and Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University awards.