CBS VP Resigns Over Bush Story

The top CBS News executive asked to resign for her role in the network's discredited report on President Bush's military service has quit, CBS said on Monday.

Betsy West (search), formerly senior vice president of prime time for CBS News, resigned nearly two months after being asked to.

"I am proud of my 25-year career in television and of my track record at CBS News, and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my professional life," West said.

Neither West's spokesman, Tom Goodman, nor CBS News would discuss whether the two parties had reached a settlement or why it took so long for her to quit.

CBS fired the report's producer, Mary Mapes (search). Besides West, the network had asked for the resignations of "60 Minutes Wednesday" executive producer Josh Howard (search) and his top deputy, Mary Murphy (search). Murphy resigned Friday; Howard remains a CBS News employee.

Two days after last September's report on Bush had aired, CBS News President Andrew Heyward ordered West to review the opinions of document experts and confidential sources who had supported the story. But no investigation was done, said the independent panel chaired by former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and retired Associated Press President Louis D. Boccardi.

If it had, CBS might have avoided its embarrassing 10-day defense of the story, the report concluded.

In a statement Monday, CBS said West had "served with integrity, professionalism and talent. CBS recognizes Ms. West's many positive contributions to the CBS News division and wishes her well."

Dan Rather, who narrated the report and is stepping down as "CBS Evening News" anchor next week, told The New Yorker magazine that he had testified before the Boccardi and Thornburgh panel for 11 hours.

"I told the panel that if I had to move this afternoon on a big story, one that had the potential of being controversial, I'd be very happy to go on that story with the same people, each and every one," Rather said.