Schieffer to Be at CBS Long-Term

Bob Schieffer signed a new long-term contract with CBS News, the network confirmed Monday.

Specific terms were not disclosed, but the new deal keeps Schieffer at Face the Nation for the foreseeable future.

The chief Washington correspondent initially planned to retire after the 2008 presidential election and take on a part-time, elder-statesman role at the network. But he reversed his plans after CBS News president Sean McManus requested that Schieffer, 71, remain in a full-time capacity.

"I like working for Sean McManus, and I have great admiration for his vision for CBS News," Schieffer said in a statement. "I am happy that I'll continue to be part of his team for many years to come."

In an interview from the floor of The Cable Show ’08 in New Orleans, McManus said, "People say to me, 'Bob is 71 years old,' to which I respond, 'He's the exact same age as [Sen.] John McCain [R-Ariz.], who I believe is applying for either a four- or eight-year job. So if John McCain can run for president at age 71, Bob Schieffer is certainly vibrant enough to serve Face the Nation and CBS News for a number more years. Bob's an institution, and as long as I'm at CBS News, I hope Bob's around also."

The announcement came in the wake of a spate of negative news reports about Katie Couric's likely abbreviated tenure as CBS Evening News anchor. Couric -- who is in the second year of a five-year, $75 million deal -- is likely to leave the Evening News after the election, if not sooner.

As interim Evening News anchor between Dan Rather and Couric, Schieffer grew the broadcast's ratings. Under Couric, the Evening News has hit its lowest numbers in Nielsen history, hovering around 5.3 million viewers for two weeks this spring.