No successor has been named. He will remain at the NewsHour as senior contributor.
Shields, a syndicated columnist, and New York Times columnist David Brooks have been doing the regular Friday discussion segments since 2001, with anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff as moderator. Shields previously teamed with David Gergen and The Wall Street Journal‘s Paul Gigot. Unlike some of the regular panels on cable news channels, the discussions are typically thoughtful and congenial.
In a statement, Shields said, “For 33 years, thanks to a large risk taken by Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil in 1987, I’ve had the best job in Washington journalism. am grateful to my PBS colleagues, valued friends, beginning with David Gergen through the last joyful 20 years with David Brooks. To Judy Woodruff — my dear friend since the 1976 Ford-Carter campaign — and to all our dedicated professionals at the PBS NewsHour, this has been, in addition to great fun, the most rewarding professional experience of my, admittedly checkered, career. Finally to the loyal viewers of the NewsHour who have regularly informed, corrected, and encouraged me, thank you.”
Shields started as an editorial writer at The Washington Post in 1979, after a career working as a legislative assistant and speechwriter for Senator William Proxmire and later on the 1968 presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy. He went on to hold senior positions in three other presidential campaigns, along with other races.
In a statement, Brooks said, “When Mark called to tell me he was stepping back, I told him the blunt truth: Mark has been the best professional colleague I have ever had at any level of journalism. His compassion, wisdom and friendship have blessed all of us at the NewsHour.”