Newsman Dan Rather will leave US network CBS after 44 years as an anchor and reporter. A network spokesperson announced Rather would be stepping down on Tuesday (18JUNE06) and a prime time special will be broadcast in the autumn (06) commemorating his career. The legendary newsman's contract was set to expire in November (06) and the two parties have been unable to reach a new agreement. CBS news and sports president SEAN MCMANUS said, "Of all the famous names associated with CBS News, the biggest and brightest on the marquee are (EDWARD R) MURROW, (WALTER) CRONKITE and Rather. "With the utmost respect, we mark the extraordinary and singular role Dan has played in writing the script of not only CBS News, but of broadcast journalism." Rather has told The New York Times he is considering hosting and producing a news program for HDNet, a high-definition television channel.