Formerly ensconced in the ivory tower of the ‘CBS Evening News’ before a scandal broke over his reporting of President Bush’s military record in 2004, Dan Rather has recently landed in the lap of billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban. HDNet, which Cuban owns along with the Dallas Mavericks, recently signed the iconic broadcaster to produce the hour-long ‘Dan Rather Reports’ on a weekly basis.
While HDNet only plays to 4 million Americans who have high-definition TV sets, Rather sees his new position as one filled with opportunity and personal freedom. Said Rather, "Cuban told me, 'If you come and work for me, I will give you total, complete, absolute, editorial and creative control." However, with that control comes a major drawback—Rather’s news audience will dwarf that of his CBS ratings pull.
During his 24-year career at CBS Dan Rather covered everything from the John F. Kennedy assassination to the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Iraq war. He stepped down from the anchor chair in March of 2005 and later officially left CBS in June of 2006 when the eye offered him no new assignments.
While happy about working under Cuban and having almost full say over what he covers, Rather remains realistic. He says, "I have no illusions about this. I consider this going into the wilderness, it's a pioneering network."
According to TV.com, one of the first programs Rather will cover is called ‘The Best Congress Money Can Buy’ about (none other) lobbyists in Washington. Backed with a staff of 19, Rather will be the on-air correspondent every week.
For those lucky few who boast high-def programming in their homes from HDNet, ‘Dan Rather Reports’ will premier tonight at 8:00 PM ET.