Ted Koppel, the impressively-haired former ABC newsman, is parting ways with the Discovery network six months before his contract is up. You may or may not have been aware that he's been working with them since 2006. Not the greatest tragedy in history, but it does point to the sad plight of the former big-time news anchor. There's nowhere to go but down from the heights of the network news desk. Where are all those famous former anchors today?

  • Ted Koppel—he spent 42 years at ABC before leaving Nightline for good in 2005. Then he went to Discovery. Now...?
  • Dan Rather—Anchored CBS Evening News for 24 years before being run out of the network in 2005 in the wake of his story on incriminating George W. Bush military records which turned out to be fakes. Now he has his own show on HDNet, which may be great, but which is also little-watched. Spends the balance of his time and money suing CBS for making him leave.
  • Tom Brokaw—Spent more than three decades at NBC, ending his run as anchor of the NBC Nightly News in late 2004. And surprisingly, his career hasn't taken a sad downward turn! He's been filling in as the anchor of Meet The Press, which is a thoroughly respectable gig, although someone had to die in order for him to get it. And NBC pretty much lets him step in and do pieces whenever he wants. He is the model for anchor semi-retirement.
  • Peter Jennings—Anchored ABC's World News Tonight for 22 years, right up until his sad death in 2005. Maybe he is actually the model for anchor retirement? Only for the morbid.
  • Connie Chung—Briefly hosted the CBS Evening News in the early 1990s. She's worked at just about every network there is! Now she's chilling out, married to Maury Povich. Not too shabby, I guess!

[Pic via PublicRadio.org]