Newman signing off

Don Newman, CBC’s veteran political affairs reporter, says it’s time for him to pursue new challenges.

TORONTO — Don Newman, CBC’s veteran political affairs reporter, says it’s time for him to pursue new challenges.

The 68-year-old host of the Newsworld show Politics said Monday he was retiring after a fulfilling run with the all-news channel, which he helped launch with daily reports from Ottawa in 1989.

“It has been a great 20 years doing the political program on Newsworld . . . watching the program and the network both grow,” Newman said in an email to The Canadian Press.

“But now it is time for new challenges,” he said without elaborating.

Newman also addressed the issue on the air Monday, calling it a day “when this reporter becomes something that no reporter should — a story himself.”

“The story is that I will be leaving this chair at the end of the politics season in June,” Newman said on the Ottawa-based show.

“I very much appreciate all the kind comments and good wishes that I have been receiving. But I am going to be here for another seven weeks and there is lot of political news still to report.”

Newman’s impending departure comes as the public broadcaster attempts to shed up to 800 positions amid a massive budget shortfall.

The CBC offered voluntary retirement plans to staff as a way to limit potential layoffs.

The deadline for applicants passed Friday.

CBC spokesman Jeff Keay said it’s not yet known how the retirement would affect the future of Politics, nor would he comment on how many others may have taken the retirement deal.

Newman’s 40-year career has included reports on the U.S. Watergate scandal and the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement.

The Winnipeg-born journalist joined the CBC’s parliamentary bureau in 1981.

Last October he received the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism.

Newman’s other accolades include the 1997 Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national affairs.

He was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1999.

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