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CBS Will Replace Walter Cronkite With Dan Rather

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Dan Rather, the "60 Minutes" correspondent who gained national attention by his questioning of Richard Nixon on Watergate, will succeed Walter Cronkite early next year as anchorman for the "CBS Evening News, the network said yesterday.

CBS News President Bill Leonard said Rather would take over for Cronkite, television's best-known journalist, as anchorman and managing editor of the "Evening News."

Leonard said Rather had signed a long-term contract for the job on the top-rated nightly news show. There had been speculation that Rather would sign with another network, including one report that Rather received an $8 million offer from ABC.

Cronkite will continue in his present position, probably through the presidential inauguration next January. Cronkite said he may continue to report for CBS News as his contract permits.

Rather had been considered for the last four or five years as the prime candidate for the position. Roger Mudd was also mentioned as a possibility.

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